And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (Matthew 2:11)
Today’s big question: why do we celebrate Christmas?
Black Friday! What do you think of when you hear those words? Spectacular deals for Christmas? The (un)official beginning of the Christmas season? The worst day ever for anyone in retail or food service? Regardless of what pops into your head when you hear those words, the phrase bares a special meaning—at least in the U.S. It reminds us we need to start buying gifts for our family and friends.
The Christmas season is wrought with traveling, family get-togethers, office parties, breaks from school, and insane deals on flat-screen televisions. And let’s not forget Santa Claus, hanging the stockings, decorating the tree, eating copious amounts of delicious food, and opening presents. Does this describe your Christmas?
Unfortunately, this probably describes the majority of people in America (and around the world). But what’s the real reason for Christmas? Most people could probably answer this question by stating “the birth of Christ.” But are we truly celebrating the birth of Christ? Sure, the wise men brought Him gifts, but they also worshipped Him. While we give gifts to each other, ask yourself what gift you are bringing to Him. The wise men knew the significance of Christ, so they brought Him gifts and worshipped Him.
But the true gift of Christmas is Christ—the Son of God, who became a man and willingly sacrificed Himself for the atonement of our sins to save us from a justly deserved, eternal punishment. We are blessed exceedingly by this gift but only seem to celebrate it once a year, although we should be celebrating year-round. Do we truly understand who Jesus is and what He did? We’ll take a closer look at this over the next several days. In the meantime, forget about all the secular Christmas hype, focus on what you are giving to Christ, and worship Him.
Today’s big idea: the real reason for Christmas is the gift we have received from God, so we need to give back to Him worship and a life centered on Him.
What to pray: thank God for His gift and ask Him to give you the courage to take this gift to others.