Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
James 1:16-18 New International Version (NIV)
Lots of shopping going on right about now! Gifts are being purchased, wrapped, exchanged or placed under the tree in anticipation of bringing joy to someone for Christmas. Many are looking for that "perfect gift" for that special someone we love. "Holidays are joyful" is screamed from the TV, Internet and other forms of media encouraging us to spend, spend, spend in order to bring joy to the world! "Spend today! Pay tomorrow!" Then all the decorations come down and the bills roll in. Is everybody still happy?
Giving and receiving gifts are good all the time, but every good and perfect gift is from above. This is the joy that lasts forever and the Father of heavenly lights shines on us all year long, even when the tree comes down. After the wrapping paper is torn off and thrown away, and the presents of toys and stuff are consumed or tossed aside, let us remember the real reason we go through this every year. It's not to see the financial reports detailing the money that was spent or how much debt was incurred, although shortly after Christmas Day an account will be given of these exact amounts on the news. We gather to give thanks to God and celebrate that our Savior was born. We are joyful because we have received the Perfect Gift from God.
This Christmas, let's pledge to actively love one another all year long as an offer of our first fruit to God. From hearts of love, we can find the perfect gift to give and receive as we celebrate the birth of Christ and be truly joyful in this Season. The song goes: "Joy to the World. The LORD has come! Let earth receive her King!"
God loved us so much He sent down His only Son to love and save us for eternity. Now that's what a real gift looks like!