At Christmas-time children of all ages enjoy the giving and receiving of gifts. Some folks begrudge this activity thinking it takes away from the spiritual nature of Christmas. The truth is, Christmas is all about giving . . . God giving His Son for the salvation of man (John 3:16). Let me share with you this thought about The Gifts . . .
From the beginning of Christmas celebrations, gift giving has been a part of the season. The Wise Men gave out of their treasures, and the shepherds gave of themselves. Both expressed the Gift of God in giving Christ as the Savior of the world.
Unique in our history of generous givers is the story of Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra in Lycia in the fourth century A.D. He is reputed to have been wealthy, his emblem being three purses and three golden balls. This was the symbol of rich Italian families of his time. The good Bishop gave his money away secretly to three dowry-less daughters. The eldest two each received from the chimney, on successive nights, a substantial gift money purse which the generous Bishop had dropped down the chimney.
Christians today exchange gifts and fill their children’s stockings (hung by the chimney) as expressions of love and in commemoration of the greatest gift ever given. Let our hearts be filled with a spirit of generosity and love as we celebrate the birth of the King, and may it be through each of our lives that the Good News of this great event will assure that the Gift goes on!
Heavenly Father, as we observe and celebrate this Advent, give light to our eyes and peace to our hearts. May the Lord find us watching and waiting in joy when He comes. We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.