“What do you want for Christmas?”
“Do you have your list of things you want for Christmas?”
I remember as a kid paging through the Sears catalogue (Yep, I’m that old.) and marking with my initials things that I wanted for Christmas. Our family didn’t do Santa, but my parents would use those markings as the starting place for gifts for our family.
None of it I needed.
In fact, I didn’t want to get things I NEEDED for Christmas – that was no fun. Who wanted to get socks, and underwear, or a new pair of shoes that you needed anyway. Christmas was about getting things you WANTED, but didn’t necessarily need.
If Christmas is just about the commercialism of gift buying and opening presents on Christmas morning hoping to “get what we want” we may, in fact we probably will, miss the greatest gift of Christmas.
Christmas isn’t about what we WANT, it’s about what we NEED.
Our humanity wants the presents, the cookies, the parties, the decorations, the lights etc. but none of that is what we need.
What our soul NEEDS is what the angels announced to the shepherds: 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. (Luke 2:10-11)
There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,… (Romans 3:23)
This past Friday, a man by the name of Immanuel delivered flooring for our church updating. I commented, ‘That’s a great name, especially for the Christmas season!’ He came up to me a few minutes later after finishing unloading and said, “When is Christmas?” I understood his point to be that there are many man-made traditions around Christmas (including the date of celebration). We agreed that the main point was celebrating Jesus’ birth as our Savior.
It was a good reminder to remember that Christmas isn’t about what we WANT, Christmas is about what we NEED. Our greatest need in life is a solution for our sin. Preparing for Christmas is reflecting on how God filled our greatest NEED with his greatest GIFT: A baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.
Exactly what we NEEDED!
Apply: Consider all you are doing to prepare for Christmas. How much helps you focus on the need for Christmas? How much distracts? How can your Christmas this year focus more fully on the gift God gave to take care of your greatest need?
Prayer: Lord, thank you for coming to earth to take care of my greatest need: a solution for my sin. AMEN.