This Christmas has been exciting. I have been to several church Christmas parties. I have been Christmas caroling. And I have eaten more Christmas cookies than I should.
I have been shopping, spent time with family and mailed out Christmas cards. I will conduct a Christmas Eve service, when we will spend time honoring the true reason we celebrate Christmas. I have hosted an associational Christmas party, where we sang songs, gave away gifts and shared the Christmas story. When I get into my car, I have the radio tuned to the Christmas channel, so even as I drive, I can maintain the Christmas spirit.
On Christmas day, my children and grandchildren will come to the house, where we will read the Christmas story and open presents. I will get to see their faces shine in excitement and joy as they receive those gifts under the tree. Christmas joy will abound in the hearts of so many this Christmas, but for so many more, it will not.
Many of God’s children will decorate, put up a Christmas trees, wrap gifts and then wait for Christmas morning. I know we as Christians realize Christmas is not about gifts, trees and decorations, but I fear the rest of the world may not understand.
The very first Christmas took place in Bethlehem some 2,000 years ago, and the only gifts were presented to our Savior. The Wise Men gave gold, frankincense and myrrh. It was a gift to honor the newborn King. What these wise men showed us is we should present gifts to our Savior, who was born to die and then rise again so that our sins could be forgiven and our souls could receive salvation.
Jesus presented himself to us as a gift. Likewise, we must present ourselves to him as a gift. If we are to show the world how to celebrate Christmas, then we must lay our gold, frankincense and myrrh at our Savior’s feet, just like those Wise Men of old.
Matthew 2:10-11 says, “When they saw the star, they were filled with joy. The Wise Men went to the house. There they saw the Child with his mother, Mary. They bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures. They gave him gold, frankincense and myrrh.”
What treasures will you open up this Christmas and give to Jesus Christ? Those treasures will show the world who Christmas is truly all about.
Remember, God has called you to serve him, but God has not called you to serve alone. Let us be your advocate, your resource and your prayer partner as you fulfill your calling. Until next time, please visit our website, www.bivocational.com.
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Richard Ray is executive director of the Bivocational/Small Church Association and director of missions for the Tri-Rivers Baptist Area. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.