It is interesting how the birth of Jesus has come to support gift giving, elaborate decorations, and jolly old Santa Claus. Certainly, believers and many non-believers alike enjoy the music, the festive atmosphere, and the joyous spirit and family traditions that Christmas brings. Giving gifts also helps drive economic growth, brings profit to corporations and small businesses, puts smiles to the faces of many children, but unfortunately increases the debt of many families already struggling to cover their monthly bills.
Only two of the four Christian Gospels highlighting the life and ministry of Jesus even mention the birth of Christ. The only gift central to the Christian faith, is the gift God gave us. He sent His son that believers might find forgiveness, salvation, and a right relationship with God. But what was expected in return for that gift?
When two of his disciples asked to be specially honored, Jesus reminded them of what is truly important, “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Who are Christians to serve? Jesus certainly didn’t promote giving gifts to family and friends we love or to the mighty or the rich who could benefit us in return. He said, “I assure you, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!”
Wherever you live, there are ample opportunities to enhance your Christmas experience. Help prepare and serve a Christmas meal at a local mission. In Ventura County, CA, you can share your love and generosity…