Kids will be kids!
Isn’t that what we say as we watch the excitement of Christmas morning take over? Sure, the kids love to give presents and spend time with family. Sure, the kids have some sense for the true meaning of Christmas and the birth of our Savior. But, at least for a little while (maybe even longer than a little while), doesn’t it become all about the PRESENTS!
“Oh is that big one mine?”
“look how many gifts there are… how many are mine?”
“Is one of these the fill in the blank favorite toy that I asked for?”
Kids will be kids… and we honor that. I certainly have many wonderful memories of being a kid and experiencing all of the exciting presents.
But, we SHOULD outgrow that a little bit, right? As we live and learn we should find that receiving is nice but giving is far more fulfilling and important, especially at Christmas. We balance our desire to receive with the joy of giving to those we love. Most of us get pretty good at this too (some of us sooner… some of us later). But, there is still more room to grow even beyond this. There is still a ‘Next Step’ in our spiritual maturity.
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.
‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25:34-36, 40)
We are not only to be generous with those we are close to, with those who are generous with us, with those who are like us… but even with those we don’t really know (or don’t really like) who are suffering and in need.
The true Spirit of Christmas is not merely expressing our love to loved ones through gifts, but to express unconditional love through gifts that make the world a better place BY making someone else’s life a better life. This is what God did for the world in the birth of Jesus, and its what we can do in the world for each other.