During the Christmas season it’s easy to be swept along by the flood of frenzied gift-buying. Our motive may be commendable – we want to show our love for family and friends. We may even argue that the exchange of expensive presents reflects God’s gift to us of His Son and is a way to spread yuletide joy.
According to author Bill McKibben, though, we may be robbing ourselves and others of deeper and longer-lasting joy. When the giving is over, we find that the gifts didn’t bring the sought-after satisfaction.
McKibben and some of his friends began to encourage others to limit their total holiday spending to a fraction of what they had spent in previous years. By taking the emphasis off gift-giving, they believe they will be able to concentrate more on the real reason for Christmas and to enjoy the season.
When the angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds outside Bethlehem, he told them, “I bring you good tidings of great joy” (Luke 2:10). The news that brings “great joy” even today is that the Savior has been born (v. 11).
Have we lost sight of what’s really at the heart of Christmas? Take time this season to focus on God’s gift to us, and share that joy-producing news with others. – Vernon Grounds
Joy to the world! The Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And heaven and nature sing. – Watts
The joy of Christmas is Jesus.
- December 7, Vol. 18, Our Daily Bread