The Gift 3

What do you want for Christmas?  Depending on who you ask . . . and when you ask them, you probably get very different answers.

If you asked that question to my 6 year old son, you would probably hear him answer, “Legos or Imaginext stuff.”  However, if you asked him what he wants for Christmas 6 years from now, I am sure his wants will change.  Ask him that question in 20 years, and the answer will probably evolve again.

You and I know this, because our “Christmas wish lists” have shifted over the years.  From action figures to video games to electronics, my desires have shifted over the years.  I’d like to think that my desires have improved over time, but in reality, I am just attracted each year to a different combination of metal and plastic.  The one thing most every Christmas gift I have ever received has in common is that they eventually wear out.

As we wrestle with these feelings of wants and wishes during the holiday season, we predictably switch the focus from what we can get to what we can give.  Instead of spending the holidays thinking of what you can accumulate, the more mature person thinks of who else they can bless. This can cause awkwardness at times in the lives of friends who don’t yet “get it” — much like this classic scene from “the Three Amigos” below:

For Christians, Christmas time is an interesting season.  At one level, the attention our culture turns towards Jesus this time of year is refreshing.  However, on the other end, we struggle to not have our holidays be all about Santa, Rudolph, and Frosty.  We are pretty sure, Christmas is not about us getting material stuff, so we try to find ways to compensate by giving material gifts to others.  Either way, Wal Mart is the winner!

I want to propose another approach to Christmas.  (Not that it is wrong to give or receive material gifts this time of year . . . I think that is nice — it just is not the whole thing.)  I want us to think about Christmas as a time to remember “The Gift” that was given to us by God in Jesus Christ.  By coming to this earth, Jesus came to bring (in the words of the angel), “good news of great joy that will be for all the people.”  Christmas is not first about us getting or giving THINGS.  Christmas is about us receiving a PERSON.  It is not about STUFF, but about a SAVIOR.  Christmas is not about snow and mistletoe, it is about giving glory to God and experiencing His Shalom (peace) on earth.

This Sunday at Wildwood in both our 9:30 and 10:50 worship services, we will be celebrating “The Gift of Jesus.”  To help facilitate our worship, I will be preaching a sermon out of Luke 2:8-20 expanding on the ideas shared in this post.  I hope you can join us!

Additionally, I want to invite any with children to come back to Wildwood Sunday night at 6 PM for our F/X Family Worship Experience.  You can find out more about F/X by watching the promo video below.  Hope to see you for worship on Sunday!


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