Sometimes, I don’t think we realize just how wonderfully different our God is from the ‘gods’ we find in human history. All the other gods were required the most expensive offerings of food, gold, and other precious things. All the other gods remained in the heavens manipulating the cosmos separating themselves from humankind. All the other gods were jealous, prideful, and wanted to receive all the praise and adoration for themselves.
Now, think about our God: God who is reflected in Jesus. This is a God who loves the world more than anything. So great is this love, in fact, that rather than being characterized by RECEIVING expensive offerings and praise and adoration (like the other gods in human history) God does His most important work in the world by GIVING.
THIS is the God of Christmas!
Instead of remaining ‘in the heavens’ God is born as a human child, the Messiah, Savior, Son of God, who will save the world by giving His life away.
In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. (Hebrews 1:1-3)
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. (Hebrews 2:14-15)
We may have turned Christmas into a festival focused upon excessive receiving (of our presents and our treats and our jolly holiday experiences) but the God who was birthed in a lowly stable yard cares almost exclusively about excessive giving (of His love, of His life, and His light in the world)
What are we going to do to honor the giving of God this season?