Merry Christmas!

Written by Jenny Brown, US Bible Teacher at LCA

Christmastime is a season of giving. Family and friends spend hours searching for the perfect gifts, wrapping them beautifully, and awaiting the joy on recipients’ faces. From secular celebrations to church services, giving is at the heart of Christmas. And no one gives more wondrously, sacrificially, and lovingly than God Himself.

 But perhaps like me, there are times in your life when you have lost sight of this truth. Perhaps you’ve prayed for years for something and the prayers go unanswered. Maybe you see all the blessings others receive and wonder why God seems to withhold His benevolence from you and your family. Or, maybe you long for healing for a loved one, and you find yourself sitting in the waiting room of confusion and disappointment, curious as to why the Great Physician doesn’t help.

In these moments, we can forget that it is in His nature to give. We can start believing instead that God is stingy or has forgotten us. From the very beginning, this has been the lie of the enemy—that God withholds good from us (Genesis 3:1–5). But in the birth of Jesus, the accuser is silenced as God pours out grace upon grace (John 1:16).

Think of all God has gifted us with in Jesus. Ponder the presents of salvation, life everlasting, love, joy, peace, forgiveness, spiritual blessings, a new family, a new identity, a new heart, a new citizenship. Consider how, in the virgin birth, God the Father gives us His most treasured love, sending Him to die for our sins that we, too, might become the sons and daughters of God. Reflect on how Jesus the Son, at great cost to Himself, gives us His presence, His righteousness, His very life. Think, too, of the gift of the Spirit who seals us, fills us, and helps us. Like unwrapping a huge box with one present in it that has another present within it that has another present within and so forth, so God has lavished us with blessings.

Though circumstances can seem to hide God’s goodness, the story of Christmas unwraps the glory and kindness of God in the birth of Jesus. May we then not let unanswered prayers, difficulties, or the abundance of others lure us away from the truth of God’s goodness and generosity. As Paul writes, for if “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32 NKJV). Indeed, in the glorious bundle of the baby Jesus, all the gifts of God are wrapped in one.

So, this advent season, consider all the many gifts that are ours because the Word became flesh. Let this truth flood our hearts with joy, gratitude, and worship. May we join in singing with Mary, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior . . . for He who is mighty has done great things for me” (Luke 1:46, 49a ESV).

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