God has given us the greatest gift at Christmas. The gift was Jesus, born in a manger for our redemption from the curse of sin and death.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
The gift of redemption was for us, sent with love, from God.
This unexpected plan of God becoming one of us, drew us back into relationship with him. Ordinary people and places played a role in the nativity drama. Jesus breathed our air and walked the dusty earth, knowing that he would save us from the despair of hopeless death. The cradle held the Messiah who would carry the cross to Calvary.
Through this great gift, other gifts have been given. We’ve gained a greater understanding of love, joy, peace, and hope because of the gift in the manger.
The love from God reaches us so that we can be in relationship with him.
In 1 John 4:9-10 we read,
“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. “
The third verse of Silent Night describes this love.
I can’t sing those words without a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes.
The gift of joy is deeper than momentary happiness.
In Luke 2:10 we read,
“But the angel said to them (the shepherds), “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.”
The birth of Jesus brought joy to all creation and redemption for us. The holy joy comes from the Spirit inside our hearts, responding in gratitude to God for his gift of salvation.
The festive hymn “Joy to the World!” uplifts our hearts.
The gift of peace settles over our restless souls.
The angels proclaimed the gift of peace Luke 2:14.
Jesus said in John 14:27,
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
When I faced cancer surgery last January, I had to lean into the peace of God so as not to be overcome with worry. God’s peace carried me through the surgery and recovery.
Although peace on earth seems hard to find this year, we can have the peace of the Lord in our hearts because we are reconciled to God.
In Hark the Herald Angels, we sing of peace and reconciliation to God.
The gift of hope helps us face the future, knowing God’s presence will be with us.
This hope is an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. (Hebrews 6:19)
Romans 15:13 says,
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Again, this hope comes from God, given to us.
The lyrics of O Holy Night speak of this beautiful hope in the first verse.
Because of the greatest gift of Jesus, we can live with the love, joy, peace, and hope of God.
These gifts of Christmas continue in our lives every single day.
If you haven’t done so, welcome the Savior into your life. Be like the shepherds who came to the manger to see the wondrous gift.