Christmas is over, and we are back to everyday life. When my Christmas is over and the hectic business of celebrating is behind me, I like to take time and examine my gifts. If it is a toy, I will play with it, if it is something else I will examine its uses etc. In relation to this website and how we have been discussing Christmas, I would like to examine the gift that God gave us at Christmas. In Isaiah 9 we read:
6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
We received a Son. As we have discussed in earlier posts, a Son who would take upon himself the punishment that we should receive because of our sins. That is quite a gift, but to whom did God give this gift. In Matthew 9 we read:
10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’[a] For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
God gave his Son to those who needed to be saved. He gave Him to humble people who were aware of their many shortcomings. Who were not proud, and thought that they could find “good” within themselves. Those people did not receive a Son for they considered themselves “righteous”. It is the people who “hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” as Jesus taught in the beatitudes in Matthew 5.
That is who will receive this gift of a Son. No special requirements, memberships or talents, except the knowledge of our own worthlessness without God’s saving grace. A hunger and thirst for righteousness. That is the person who has received this gift. And there is no reason why that could not by you. Pray that God will show you that you too have received this gift.
Now that we have this gift, let us unwrap it. What do we do with it? What is it good for? So many questions. The first thing we therefore should be doing is to take the time to understand this gift. To read the directions if you will. Knowledge is necessary to get the full benefit of this gift. The study of the bible is very important for us to understand this gift. In Paul’s letter to the Philippians we read “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight”. To fully understand Christ, and who he is and what he has done for us, we need to have knowledge. That knowledge comes from opening up God’s Word. That knowledge comes from spending time in the scriptures and delving there for the gems of knowledge that will bring us the understanding of our relationship with God. No, being a Christian is not just celebrating Christmas, it is much more and the treasures that come to us as we learn more and more of God’s mighty deeds in our lives and in our history are beyond measure. But that is for another post.
You are invited to join us in a discussion of this post online or join us every Wednesday evening from 7:30 till 8:30 in the meeting room of the Semiahmoo library on 152 Street in South Surrey.