I love Christmas! Even though it is arguable that Christ was born in this date, I still cherish this celebration as a symbol of his coming to the earth as God in human form. People don’t talk about that much though, and even though they say it is a “giving time“, most of what I have seen is crazy buyers. But truly, should we get crazy about the gift giving?
You know, even as a child with no access to an actual gift for Christmas because of my family’s lack of resources, my siblings and I did loved this celebration because of the crazy lights in the streets, the Christmas trees, the special theater that displayed Bible stories at church, and of course, the expectation of those cookies we got from one of our neighbours and from our church. But that was really all. There was no belief in Santa in order to have magic, there were no gifts under the tree in order to have happy children, and there were no credit cards about to explode at the end of the holiday to have satisfied parents. And yet we were so happy it was undescribable. My mom made sure we had plently of love! And just seeing my parents together and enjoying my brother and sister’s presence (even though other times I wished I had been the only child!)… these are the most beautiful Christmas memories that will forever be in my heart.
If today we have access to everything we want, why is it then that humanity does not seem to have find contentment? I mean, people do go to great lenghts to find ‘that perfect gift’ as if truly that gift had the power to bring ‘happiness’ in its tag. People even fight and hate each other at Black Friday. And then they show their best smiles and when the celebration is over, they go back to “the way things are”.
We as Christians have a different call. The Lord told us in John 15:12-14,
This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.
So if we call ourselves Christians, the Spirit of God in our hearts should stir us to follow this command… “to love one another” so much that we would not seek to fulfil our own desires but those of others. Sadly, by giving gifts when they are not needed or asked, we might risk to miss the mark. Do not misunderstand me! I love gifts. I love giving and receiving gifts. What I mean is that we Christians must go beyond the gift-giving and Santa at Christmas. We must give up our life for others. Before and above all, for God, and then, for other people. What an amazing call!
This call is real and pressing 24/7/365, but especially during this season!
So with this in mind, I go on to share with you what I came accross these days. The first video I want to share with you is about an amazing gift of love given to someone who could not reciprocate and by people who by regular standards would not even be expected to give so generously. I’m sure such loving present has changed the lives of everyone in this story:
The next video is just as beautiful, although shocking. It is one of those who seek to ‘raise awareness’ about an issue but in it you see sparkles of the love of God. When I saw this one, I immediately thought of Isaiah 52:7 that paints a beautiful picture of those who carry the love of God everywhere they go,
“How beautiful upon the mountains
Are the feet of him who brings good news,
Who proclaims peace,
Who brings glad tidings of good things,
Who proclaims salvation,
Who says to Zion, “ Your God reigns!”
These verses don’t refer to Santa, but of you and I, when we go places and take the Gospel with us and cry a desperate cry for those who need help! You know, these Christians visiting this African place could have spent their money on tourism but instead they chose to show this children’s condition in order to raise awareness about this problem as well as work with them – in the longer term.
I pray these videos will stir your heart -just as they did mine- to serve God in Spirit and Truth – to give yourself for others the entire year, but especially during these holidays that are supposedly focused on ‘giving’… Do you think your children will remember the stuff you bought for them when they grow up? Possibly. But not very likely. However, they will forever remember how you were with them every day of the year, if you were loving, forgiving, compassionate, and a real believer of Christ, and you showed that with others.
So. Start LOVING today! And start with those closest to you. Then expand your generosity to those who are farther away… After all, that is our call.
God bless you this Christmas!