Christmas has always been one of my favorite seasons. While it is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ into this world, it is also a season of giving and receiving gifts. As a young boy focusing on the “receiving” part of Christmas, I would routinely inform my parents (“nag” being a better description than “inform”) of those toys that I wanted for Christmas.
Before I could read my own name, I would be shown the presents that were addressed to me, under the family Christmas tree. I would look at these presents and judge their size according to the size of the toys that I had petitioned my parents. Invariably, there would be presents under the Christmas tree that matched the size and shape of those toys that I had requested. While I couldn’t see through the wrapping paper, I usually knew what I was getting.
While there was the desire to open the packages, as soon as they were placed under the Christmas tree, I had to wait until Christmas, not by my choice, but according to the demands of my parents. The days of the calendar would be excitedly marked off, with the remaining days until December 25th (Christmas) being counted. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, only December 25th would remain. Christmas had arrived.
On Christmas morning, when my parents would give the signal that presents could be opened, I would rush to the section under the Christmas tree where I had piled my presents and begin to open my presents (in a somewhat frenzied manner), as I wanted to see what was inside each package, NOW.
Before Jesus Christ entered this world, can you hear the prayers of God’s people crying for a Savior? Since Jesus Christ entered this world, can you hear the prayers of sinners crying for His cleansing blood?
As children asking their parents for Christmas gifts, God heard the cries of His people and sent the only gift that transcends eternity. As John 3:16 relates:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
As children will gather around a Christmas tree seeking to find the gifts addressed to them, people live their lives in anticipation of that day when they face God for their final reward. A day that is known only by God. Who knows the exact day and hour when God will whisper their name? No one knows and many assume that they will walk this earth forever.
For parents, it would be an impossible task to attempt to convince their children that Christmas will be celebrated this year on December 31st, rather than December 25th. The day of December 25th has been set aside as the day for celebrating Christmas; no other day will do.
Imagine the confusion of a Christmas shopper who believed that Christmas falls on December 25th and then, one year, Christmas comes on December 23rd? Those shoppers who wait until December 24th to complete their shopping would find themselves without presents and unprepared for Christmas.
When either physical death occurs or Jesus Christ returns, there will be no time for any last minute shopping; there will be no time to repent and secure salvation. As Revelation 3:3, 5 cautions:
“If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee……He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” Revelation 3:3, 5
As Christmas is celebrated by children happily receiving gifts, the return of Jesus Christ will be celebrated by Christians happily receiving eternal life. Heaven will be Christmas found.
(copyright 2005) by Bruce W. Durbin
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