For many people, a big part of Christmas is about giving and receiving gifts. I confess that choosing the “perfect” gift for someone is so hard for me. A perfect gift is a combination of cost (something you can afford), intimate knowledge (knowing what a person wants or needs), and thoughtfulness. Many times we know what a person wants but we can’t afford it. Or we buy something that may be costly but the focus is really more on us than on the person receiving the gift (e.g., a husband giving his wife a big-screen TV). In the birth of Jesus Christ, God has given us the perfect gift. Our scripture passage for this past Sunday was Luke 2:8-20. An angel appears to a group of shepherds keeping watch over their sheep. What was the angel’s message? “I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”
Christmas is all about the message the angel shared to the shepherds: good news and great joy for all the people! The good news is that God sent His Son Jesus Christ to us (the most costly gift ever) because of His great love for us (thoughtfulness) to free us from the power of sin and death (our deepest need and desire). That truly is cause for great joy! And this gift is freely given to all who believe, not just to a select few who have worked hard enough.
Have you received this perfect gift? Will you receive this perfect gift this Christmas? May receiving this gift bring you great joy, and may it be your great joy to share it with others. Merry Christmas!