As I write this, we are smack dab in the middle of one of the busiest and most hectic seasons of the year. With all the hustle and bustle, it is easy to forget why we celebrate Christmas. It’s not about the presents or the lights or the time off of work. It’s a celebration of the birth of our Savior, the crux of a perfect plan that was in place from the foundations of the earth.
It’s easy to get caught up in the commercialism that seems to have overtaken this time of year especially when everything around us promotes greed and materialism. This has never been more real and evident to me than this year. If you know me, you know that I am typically a scrooge when it comes to gifts and commercial Christmas. This year, though, I have had to try harder than ever to not get caught up in it all.
This will be my first Christmas with a child, and I found myself getting really excited to look through all the toy catalogs and all they toy aisles to find gifts for my son. It was fun, and for the first time in a long time, I felt the excitement about Christmas that I had when I was a child. Don’t get me wrong, blessing our children and those around us is a wonderful thing. In fact, I sometimes wonder if that excitement is a small fraction of what our Heavenly Father feels as he freely gives us the gift of His Son. I just want to be careful not to get so caught up in the gifts that I forget to be thankful for all that God has done for me.
This Christmas I challenge you to seek the Giver instead of the gifts. John Piper once said, “The critical question for our generation—and for every generation—is this: If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ were not there?” Are you putting the gifts before the Giver this Christmas season? More importantly, are you seeking the gifts over the Giver in this season of your life? If you are, I encourage you to remember your first love. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.