By Dr. Tom Roxas
Nowadays, Christmas has been reduced to family get together, lots of parties, excessive eating and shopping and the like. Often, the preparations and celebrations have caused a lot of emotional and financial stresses. Added to these are the monstrous traffic jams that can easily dampen the spirit of the season.
How do we capture the true spirit of Christmas when we have lost the “Reason for the Season?” Matthew 2:11 gives us two powerful examples of the wise men celebrating the true Reason for the Season. “After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”
First, they came to worship the newborn King. Jesus should be the center of our Christmas celebration.
Second, they gave Him their best gifts. We can give Him ours, too. Some possible gifts we can give Jesus for His birthday are:
- Share the Gospel to friends or to a family as a lifestyle
- I will be thankful with all the blessings and joyful with all the uncomfortable situations this year
- Forgive my ______________ (family member, friends, work-mates, Boss, colleagues, etc.)
- Read, meditate and study a book in the Bible this Christmas break
- Pray regularly for my unsaved loved ones
- Pray for my country
- Be a good steward of God’s resources (e.g. finances, time, talent)
- Not to be impulsive buyer this Christmas
- I will faithfully give my tithes
- I will take care of my body as the temple of the Holy Spirit (e.g. exercise, eat the right food, etc.)
- I will read the whole Bible in 2017
- I will spend time with my family
- I will love my wife more
- I will submit to my husband
- I will obey my parents
Remember that Christmas is about the birth of Jesus in the lowly manger, but the story is incomplete without the Cross and the Resurrection. The Creator in humility joined His creation and became a man, the lowest form at that, a slave. Christ came to die for our sins. He rose from the dead to conquer death that we who believe in Him may have Him remain in us and live with Him forever. Truly, He is Immanuel- God is with us. We gave Him our sins and He gave us His righteousness. This story has been repeated countless times for more than two thousand years but it never gets old.
Have a blessed Christmas!