With Christmas Trees all decked in splendor, houses lit from tip to top, and Santa coming soon, what are the many gifts of Christmas? Well, I assure you, as jolly a demeanor as good ole Saint Nicholas portrays, the toys for all the little “tots” he bears are, indeed, not the many gifts of Christmas.
Not by glorious sleigh, but in a humble manger
1 Who has believed our message? and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 2 For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. 3 He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Who will believe this message, that our gift is Christ the savior Himself? Born of the fullness of God’s grace and shinning as a Light out of the darkness, resonating the Truth to every ear that would hear. Indeed, He came in a dry and parched land, void of all royal majesty, though He Himself was the fullness of God’s deity, and endured sorrows and grief as He was despised and forsaken by all men.
The Scarlet Robe
27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole Roman cohort around Him. 28 They stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. 29And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they knelt down before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”
gifts of suffering and death unto fellowship
And if there has been bloodshed, there also has been suffering and death.
Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.
a helper forever
Inheritance to come
Because of Christ Jesus, the Lord who was born a little lower than the angels for a short while- even resting in a manger- we have an inheritance stored up for us and preserved in Heaven, an inheritance that will come with Christ Jesus when He returns to receive to Himself those that are His!
Namely, those who are called children of God- that those who have believed in Him and partaken in His death and resurrection, will likewise share in His inheritance by His grace and love.
And this inheritance is so great that we cannot even speak of it while we are yet still on Earth! For we cannot perceive yet what is to come, though it has been revealed in Christ- it is beyond us still.
That is why it is called hope and faith; because we know what we have in Christ Jesus while still not having obtained it yet. So, for a little while we still have not obtained it but are persevering towards it!
Therefore, this Christmas, we must rejoice in what we have been given by Jesus Christ- not the empty perishing things of this world, which are not even worthy to have, but of the things that we have set our minds on- Heavenly things at the right hand of God.
Be blessed in receiving these gifts- knowing that if you have them, the are once and forever, AMEN!