Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights. James 1:17
They’re doing it again this year. The television ads are full of all the things the world thinks we need to have “the best Christmas ever.” Seriously? Who decided this? So the value of Christmas is to be based on how surprised your children are when they open their packages? The retail world’s assessment of how much the birth of Christ means is directly proportional to the excitement induced by the purchase of the perfect item for the person whose name you drew in the family lottery. And if we can believe the television ads, those gifts had better be pretty spendy or we’ll be in big trouble with the recipient. I get a particular charge out of the commercials showing one family member presenting another with a brand new automobile, complete with a gigantic red bow attached. The spouse then morphs into a six-year-old, cavorting around the new vehicle like some pint-sized whirling dervish. Only the reminder, “Remember, it’s my car too!” brings her back to adulthood.
It must make God sad to see what’s happened to the most cataclysmic event in the history of the world. I know He is omniscient, so He must have known it would turn out this way eventually. But it must warm His heart when He sees some of His children remembering the real reason we celebrate this Season of Light. “When the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared” says Paul in Titus 3:5-7, “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy.” The very best Christmas ever was the first Christmas present ever, the magical night when a teenage virgin gave birth to the baby Jesus. “He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:607). And “having been justified by His grace, we…become heirs having the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:7).
The wrapping on the greatest Christmas present ever wasn’t shiny and new. The child was wrapped in rags. No brown truck showed up to deliver Him. His nervous young earthly parents did it all by themselves. And the only thing we morphed into when He was born was new creatures, one and all.
Tiny God, we bow before You in thanks for Your unspeakable gift. Amen
Meg Blaine Corrigan is the author of three books: Then I Am Strong: Moving From My Mother’s Daughter to God’s Child; Perils of a Polynesian Percussionist; and Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian. She holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling from the University of New Mexico and has worked with survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and war veterans. Her books may be purchased through her website, www.MegCorrigan.com or from www.amazon.com .