For me, one of the most exciting parts of Christmas is the presents. I know, Christmas is about so much more than gifts—yet the simple act of opening my presents and finding out what’s in them always brings me a lot of excitement. I catch sight of a gift, beautifully wrapped, with my name on it, and it thrills me! Even if I have an idea what it might be, it’s so much fun to open the package and see the gift for the first time!
When Jesus came on that first Christmas, everyone was waiting. The Israelites of His time were anticipating a Messiah, someone who would liberate them from the oppression they were suffering. Jesus arrived, packaged in the form of a little baby, and ultimately showed Himself to be the Greatest Gift in every way.
However, not everybody was prepared to understand who He was or to see His value. Some scoffed at His place of birth; others, at His earthly father’s profession; and others still, at His parentage. For some, He wasn’t the type of Messiah they’d been expecting, and they wished they could return and exchange Him.
Nevertheless, those who received Jesus with open arms recognized how much more wonderful their lives would be now that they had the gift of eternal salvation and the unconditional love of God that He offered. They in turn shared Christ with others, who kept on sharing the good news, and here we are today.
In a world beset by false personas, materialistic thinking, and misleading advertising, His gift of love is just as real and just as needed as ever. Let’s bring Him into the lives of others, both at Christmas and always.
My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?—Bob Hope (1903–2003)