I was brought up in a home where much was made of “Santa Claus” as a part of the Christmas celebration. It was not within Patsy and my understanding and agreement, to foster that particular inclusiveness into the thinking of our children. However, celebrating Christmas in itself, and with others, was a definite part of our home. Most important was to join in the atmosphere of the year, but in our home or church we desired Christ predominant.
I do not find it acceptable to totally withdraw myself from the manner that others celebrate, but always to have them see that I am not a wet rag, and that I somehow represent the Savior, Jesus, as the center of my celebration. The frivolity of some of the so called “Christmas” music is tolerated, but certainly not as agreeable to our focus on Christ.
While reading the Book of Ephesians last evening, the Holy Spirit impressed upon my mind the recurring word, GRACE. As a pastor of 60 plus years, I can recall how often “Amazing Grace” was a preferable song for funerals. Sadly, all too often there was a question in my mind if the deceased, or those present for the Service, was totally aware of the Gift of Grace that God extends to mankind through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ.
Christmas is a wonderful time to refresh our thinking concerning the GIFT that was extended to us in the person of Jesus Christ. It was not something earned, or something deserved in any fashion; it was strictly GRACE manifested through the Love of God for us and to us, in Christ. Every gift extended only finds acceptance when we embrace it, open it, and express our appreciation. The gift is not the boxes or wrappings; He is the person of Jesus! He waits while we open our hearts and lives to Him. He is the epitome of GRACE!
You will not find the GIFT under the tree and left by Santa Claus, but you will find HIM in Ephesians 2:8-10… “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”