I’m assuming you decided to read this post for one of the following reasons…
- The title is so unbelievably un-Christian sounding for a Christian blog that you just had to read it to see if I’ve gone off the deep end
- You’re one of those people who likes to read any and every Christmas-related blog post (aka me)
- You know how bloggers use titles and can already assume that this post is not about the kind of gifts found under the tree, you just want to prove yourself right 🙂
Either way, I would like to believe you’ve stumbled upon a blog post that will completely change your life (or at least the way you think about/celebrate Christmas). Yet even if I’m the most gifted writer you’ve ever encountered, even if my words flawlessly come together to form intricate sentences filled with the most moving stories, ultimately I know nothing I say (or write) can change you or your heart. Only God can.
Three words filled with SO much truth. Only. God. Can.
Only God can fill our lives with a peace that transcends all understanding in the midst of heartbreak, illnesses, injuries, financial struggles, rejection, loneliness, and persecution.
Only God can strengthen us with joy that cannot be taken away, even during our toughest trials.
Only God can drive out our every fear, conquer every anxious thought, and turn every ounce of stress into unimaginable peace.
Only God can constantly surround us with His presence, regardless of where we are, who we’re with, or where we’re going.
Only God can love us more than anyone has in the past, does in the present, or will in the future, regardless of our sin. Not even the deepest, darkest sins successfully hidden from the rest of the world escape His notice, yet His unconditional, unfailing love is deeper still.
Only God can forgive every careless word spoken, every hateful thought conceived, and every selfish decision made.
Only God can forgive all impurity, all greed, every lie, and every sinful fiber of our beings.
Only God can. And that is what Christmas is all about.
Christmas is about God making unimaginable sacrifices because He knew only He could do what needed to be done. Christmas is about God doing what only God can do. Jesus, who is one with God, descended from His heavenly dwelling knowing He would taste suffering, trials, temptations, and persecution. He left perfection and entered a world full of corruption, took the weight of our sins, died on the cross, and rose from the grave. Why? Because by His death He became the ultimate sacrifice so the sins of all who choose to believe and follow Him would be washed away. He gave us a way to approach the throne of God with boldness and righteousness through Jesus.
Forgiveness through Jesus is the greatest gift humanity has ever received and ever will receive. Nothing can compare with the Gift who descended from Heaven on that first Christmas night so many years ago. Nothing.
So yes, Christmas is about the gifts, but not the ones found under the tree. Christmas is about the gift of forgiveness and life found through Jesus.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” -Romans 3:23
Christmas is about the gift of peace Jesus brings to every soul who chooses to trust in Him.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” -John 14:27
Christmas is about the love God lavished upon us when He sent His one and only Son into a world full of corruption, full of sinfulness, and full of death in order to save a people who would never understand true love a part from Him.
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” -1 John 3:1
Christmas is about God loving us before we ever loved Him.
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” -1 John 4:10
So no, Christmas isn’t about the gifts under the tree. Christmas isn’t about the food, the laughter, or the festive music. Christmas isn’t even about our families or our friends. And most importantly…Christmas is not about us.
Christmas is all about Jesus.
He’s the reason we celebrate.
Christmas traditions such as family gatherings, gift-giving, caroling, or baking are all enjoyable parts of Christmas celebration. But please remember that Jesus is the reason we celebrate. Without Jesus, we would have no reason to partake in our favorite traditions. Without Jesus, the hope of the Christmas season would be nonexistent. Without Jesus, we would still be slaves to sin, lost and ashamed without hope of redemption. So let’s make sure we treasure Him. Let’s surrender our sin into the hands of the One who left the throne of glory to set us free from the sinful nature and mold us into instruments for His glory.
Let’s give Him our all because He paid the ultimate price. He died the death we should have died. He carried the weight of our sins in His body as He hung on the tree. He swallowed up death in victory so we could be with Him forever. In the words of Hillsong, He didn’t want heaven without us, so Jesus brought heaven down. Our sin was great; His love was greater. What could separate us now?
My sweet friend, Haley, shared the following quote with me a while back and I’ve found myself constantly dwelling on it during this Christmas season:
“Christ did not die to forgive sinners who go on treasuring anything above seeing and savoring God. And people who would be happy in heaven if Christ were not there, will not be there. The gospel is not a way to get people to heaven; it is a way to get people to God. It’s a way of overcoming every obstacle to everlasting joy in God. If we don’t want God above all things, we have not been converted by the gospel.” -John Piper
Enjoy Christmas. Enjoy celebration. Enjoy laughter, gifts, and love. But enjoy God even more. Enjoy the gifts He lavished upon us. Enjoy His peace, His joy, His life. And most importantly…enjoy Him.