Christmas is just around the corner again. Many people will again be shopping for gifts for their family and friends. It is hard to miss this part of Christmas. We are reminded of it by our friends’ busyness in planning and buying their gifts. We are reminded of it by the media advertisements on where the best buys and offers are found. We definitely cannot miss the air if we take a walk in the shopping malls. I am sure many will also be doing this today at the last minute, thinking of something special to get for a friend or family member (I've given out all the presents I need to give so I am at peace for one).
Gift-giving is a wonderful way of showing someone that he or she matters to you. The act of buying something meaningful, wrapping it appropriately and penning one’s thoughts of the season on a card to go along takes time, effort and resources.
Gift-giving at Christmas is also significant because it reminds us of God’s gift to all of us—his one and only Son, Jesus Christ. Before the Fall, Adam and Eve had an intimate fellowship with God. This was broken when Adam and Eve chose to go their own way and resulted in God’s crowning act of creation, mankind, being alienated from God. Yet Christmas reminds us that God did not give up on man but gave up his only son for man. The Christmas story is about God’s unfailing love for his creation. However, this Christmas story needs also to be shared and spread.
There still are many people who celebrate the season but do not know the story, not in their hearts anyway. Friends and family may have lots of fun amidst the food, feasting and festivities but yet not know Jesus Christ, the real reason for the season. They may receive gifts from one another and yet not receive the gift that God has prepared for them, through Jesus Christ.
There will also be people who will see us enjoying ourselves and yet they will have no one to call friend. When you laugh, the whole world laughs with you but when you cry, you cry alone. I hope that all of us will make sure that no one in their cirlce ever cries alone. The best gift we can give anyone is to bring them to Christ. While we may bear each other’s burdens, we can never bear it completely because we can never be there for those in need all the time. Omnipresent friendship can only come from Jesus Christ. His name is Immanuel which means ‘God is with us’.
For many people, the big question in life is “Is God with me?” We can tell people there is a God and they agree. But yet they find it hard to accept that God is there with them. They find it hard to accept that God is so easily accessible to them. This is what the message of Christmas is – there is a God whose unfailing love for us led him to give his son Jesus to carry our sins. In this messy mixed-up world filled with death, disease and disasters, where millions of people cry out “where is the hope?” we Christians can offer them the hope of Jesus Christ.
Let us then commit ourselves to being God’s gift-bearers to the people around us. As we hand out our gifts to friends and family, let us tell them of the special gift that gives the meaning to Christmas. The Bible reminds us that God is preparing a great celebration for his people in eternity. This Christmas, let us be the ones that God uses to send his invitations to this celebration. Let our willingness to be his messengers be the special gift that we offer to God this Christmas.