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The Good Gift For the Bad One

Here we are, seven days into December. This month always brings a lot of expectation. It is the month of gift-making and gift-shopping. Tree-hunting and seasonal-decorating. For many, there will be a gift-exchange at work and gift-giving Christmas Eve in the home of a friend or other family member. As your family grows over the years, so does the amount of expectation! It’s a lot of pressure. It’s enough to make a person go broke financially!

There have been years, in the past, where my credit card was so heavily burdened at Christmas that it took me a full year to pay it off, just to start all over again the following Christmas season. It’s silly the amount of money we spend at Christmas time.

Did you know Americans are the world’s biggest spenders at Christmas? And it is anticipated that Americans will spend over $1 trillion on Christmas this year. US consumers tell Gallup pollsters they plan to spend an average of $942 on Christmas gifts this year – $57 more than last year. More than one-third say their gift-buying will top $1,000, one-third higher than last year’s top spenders. (Source: weforum.org)


I owe, I owe, so off to work I go…


C.S. Lewis had something to say about gift-giving and card-sending. He called it a “commercial racket.”


In an essay published in 1957 he wrote, “... The idea that not only all friends but even all acquaintances should give one another presents, or at least send one another cards, is quite modern and has been forced upon us by the shopkeepers,”

He may have been onto something.


According to capitalcounselor.com, 10% of Europeans go into debt due to Christmas shopping, while 41% of Americans are willing to take on debt due to gift shopping. 1 in 10 people will return their gifts to the store, and $15.2 billion is the estimated total of unwanted presents.


Don’t forget the Christmas tree. America is expected to spend almost $6.1 billion on Christmas trees.


Oh! And don’t forget the Christmas cards. According to money.com, the amount spent on holiday cards is pretty staggering. It's about 25% of the total annual greeting card sales, or about 1.6 billion cards according to the Greeting Card Association's numbers. I will let you do the approximate math. It's big money!


And yet the greatest, grandest, most important, life-saving gift of all, is totally free to you.

Not only that, but it never runs out and you can share it with everyone around you and they can enjoy all the benefits of this gift and they too can share it with the people around them, and the gift keeps giving and giving and giving.


The Gift is Jesus.

“but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 ESV


The greatest gift, the only reason we celebrate Christmas, is Jesus Christ of Nazareth!

Nathaniel asked Philip, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”

I say yes!!!


He is good and kind and gentle. Isaiah called Him Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace. He is THE gift. He is the only gift we should focus on.


We have become so distracted by the shiny lights and the music, the newest toy and gadget, the stylish door wreath with fresh pine boughs and red velvet ribbon, and we have lost touch with the reason we celebrate Christmas. It's not about the shopping; it's about our Savior.


Now don’t get me wrong. I am not accusing you of not loving Jesus or of gifting irresponsibly, but I think, in general, humanity has lost touch with reality.

Just look around. If we slow enough from our frenzied shopping, we will see Frosty the Snowman, Santa, and Rudolph, right next to the shepherds, the sheep, and a sleeping baby Jesus.


When we stop to think, really think what took place, it should humble us in such a way, that the mad rush of shopping and decorating, would take a back seat; maybe even hop in the trunk.


“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9 NIV

He was rich!

He was loved and adored by countless angels!


He was secure in heaven with His Father.

He needed nothing!


He had everything and yet…

And yet, He left it all; risked it all, for you; for me. It blows my mind!


The Bible says that “God sent His Son” but we need to be clear, Jesus was not forced to save us. The Father sent, but the Son willingly went. Jesus wants to save you. He longs to have a ‘forever’ relationship with you.


“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:17 NIV


Knowing what He did for us should make us love Him more each day.

1 Peter 3:18 tells us that Christ suffered once for our sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring us to God.

Jesus the righteous One, for me the unrighteous one. Jesus the good one, for me the bad one What a gift!


by Jeanette Stark – Wednesday, December 7, 2022




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