Unwrapping the Best Christmas Gift Ever
If you sacrificed all you had to buy someone a Christmas gift and that person never took the time to unwrap and open it, how would you feel? You may be disappointed, hurt and angry at the rejection of your generous act of love. And for the person you gave it to, the gift would be worthless if it was left unwrapped and sitting in the corner. It is astounding that many people have celebrated Christmas every year of their lives without ever having opened their greatest and most expensive Christmas Gift. Jesus Christ is God’s Christmas gift to everyone on earth. Wrapped up in Jesus are all the benefits and blessings God has given us, which are presented to us in the Gospels and Epistles for us to read about.
Jesus brings us peace with God and one another. He forgives our past and gives purpose to our lives. The name Jesus actually means “God saves.” Jesus calls out to each of us and lets us know that he replaces the frustration in our hearts with peace. He replaces our guilt and shame with forgiveness. He replaces our worry and anxiety with confidence. He replaces our depression with real hope. He replaces our confusion with clarity. He only asks that we invite him into our hearts and our daily lives.1
The gift of peace through Jesus Christ was foretold by Isaiah in the Old Testament in Isaiah 9: 5 - 6 “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. His name will be called the Angel of Great Council, for I shall bring peace upon the rulers, peace and health by Him. Great shall be His government, and of His peace there is no end. His peace shall be upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order and establish it with righteousness and judgment, from that time forward and unto the ages of ages.” This passage uses the words; gift, given and bring. We are given the gift of Christmas, where God brings salvation and peace in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Christmas gift that leads us to have peace with each other and with God in our hearts. His blessing are unending, and we look to Him as the great physician of our souls and bodies and as the great counselor, giving us unending guidance and purpose for our lives.
The beauty of Christmas is that even though we don’t deserve it, by God’s Grace, we receive God’s gifts and miracles. God’s Grace happens when we freely receive what we need by God, even though we are sinners and unworthy. By God’s grace, He makes us worthy to receive His gifts. The most significant gift God offers is our Salvation, which was paid for by Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross for us, once and for all. Hence, the tradition of gift giving at Christmas was established by God Himself on the first Christmas when God gave the gift of His Son; “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Cor. 9:15)
Sources: 1. Rick Warren, The Purpose Given Christmas 2. Orthodox Study Bible, NKJV
Rev. Fr. Bill Tragus