I can remember on December 26 that I always had a sort of letdown feeling. It didn’t matter that I got everything on my wish list or that I saw all my family happy and together. I still couldn’t help but feeling a bit depressed on the day after.
If Christmas is just a day, then that’s a natural feeling. If we spend so much time and energy in anticipation for one day of presents and food, then there’s no way the actual day can live up to all the hype. Especially these days when there is more and more pressure to buy the perfect gift and to go into debt to do so.
But if Christmas is a frame of mind, then we know that the best gift has already been given. There’s no need to try and compete with the perfect first gift of Christmas, wrapped by a teenage peasant in swaddling clothes and laid in a feeding trough. This gift isn’t for just one day a year, but for all 365 days a year.
If Christmas isn’t just about giving and receiving, then it doesn’t disappoint. If Christmas is about honoring the first gift, about celebrating the birth of Emmanuel, then Christmas takes on a whole new meaning. If we strive to fill the stocking of the Christ-child, so to speak, we find ourselves asking a whole new set of questions.
What would He want most from us? What gift could we bring that would most honor Him who gave everything for us? Who came to earth on December 25 expressly for the purpose of taking our place and dying the death we deserved, so we could have more full and abundant life than our wildest dreams could conceive?
I think what Jesus wants from us is us. Not out wallets or our talents or our calendars, but us. Living sacrifices and vessels set apart for God to use whenever and however He chooses. Vessels of mercy, kindness, grace, and above all, love.
I want to wake up tomorrow and live out a thank you to Jesus. I want everything I do and say, everywhere I go, to be Jesus working and speaking through me. I want to live out the true meaning of Christmas, not just one day a year, but every day of every year for as long as God gives me breath.
I hope and pray that every day for you will be Christmas where you seek to give Jesus the best present you have to give Him– your heart.