Giving and Getting

MPj043092500001Commercialism has long been an important part of the Christmas scene, and billions of dollars are made by people unacquainted with the Christ who came to earth to inaugurate the plan of salvation. Others will reap the benefits of gift-giving in the name of the holy child, Jesus, while ignoring the benefits of the gospel story based upon the power made available by way of the giving of God’s only begotten Son.

The season, as usual, will be polluted by some who participate in such practices as drinking, partying and all sort of sin, to which the cause of Christ and the meaning of Christmas could not be more foreign. Thousands will die on the highways because eyes and minds have been blinded by excesses of liquor and dope. Many will suffer the pain of crime, accident, and, in some cases, some will experience economic disaster from overspending.

But enough of this negativism! While the above is no less true, it is also fact that God’s people will be taking advantage of this blessed season to involve themselves in banquets, church programs, charitable activities, gift-buying for the pastor’s family, special services, caroling, and a genuine drawing closer to one another and to the wonderful Christ in whose name all of this is done. They, too, will sing “Jingle Bells,” but with a sense of heaven’s joybells ringing in the soul. They, too, will attend social gatherings, but without the “office party” trappings that too often make it possible for participants to go to hell wholesale. They, too, will be driving the nation’s highways, in route to church and family reunions, but without the foggy-mindedness of sinners under the control of evil spirits, bottled and otherwise.

Let us, as blood-bought saints of God’s church, make this, as much as lies within our abilities, the most blessed, most spiritual, most meaningful holiday season we have ever known. Keeping Christ in Christmas is no greater chore for those who know the signs of the times, and are aware of the fact that the Second Advent is close at hand. Surely we will celebrate only a few Christmases before we take that trip to the skies to see face-to-face the One for whom the day is name, in that other-world celebration at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

Let us rejoice together because of a Babe born in Bethlehem. Let us eagerly embrace that gospel preached when this Babe grew up to be a Man. Let us seek to know, if only vicariously, the suffering of the Christ who became a Martyr for mankind. Then, finally, let us be determined, as never before, to know and make use of that power by which this Martyr was resurrected.

image credit: http://www.fireflycoaching.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/MPj043092500001.jpg

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