Can you believe that Christmas is almost here? It seems like the days leading up to Christmas just fly by. That is not true for my little, three-year-old daughter. Makenna is having trouble waiting for Christmas. She has been asking, “is it Christmas yet?” for the the last month. And when we tell her how many days are left until Christmas comes, her response is always, “Christmas is taking a long time.”
Of course, she has had nothing to do to get ready for Christmas. She didn’t have the shopping, baking, planning and preparing responsibilities that her mom and I have had to deal with. And she hasn’t been at school each day, like her brothers and sisters, counting down the days til Christmas arrives. She doesn’t even really understand the passing of time. For her, Christmas is just someday in the future and she can’t quite grasp how far away it really is.
And she is so ready for it to come, right now! She is excited for Christmas. And that is something I can definitely understand. Christmas has always been one of my favorite times of the year. I have always enjoyed the different aspects of Christmas. I enjoy giving and receiving gifts. I enjoy the extra time to spend with family and friends. I enjoy the decorations, and Christmas music, and the Christmas specials on TV. And I enjoy the time of focusing on the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
When I was growing up, I loved Christmas too, but back then it was mostly about the gifts. I couldn’t wait for Christmas morning to come so that I could get up and see what I got. But over the years, my perspective on Christmas has changed and some of the other things have become more important. Now don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy getting a gift as much as the next guy, but my enjoyment of the Christmas season is much more complete than when I was young. And that is definitely a good thing.
I was talking with my children during devotions last night about, “what if we didn’t get any presents on Christmas. Would we still celebrate?” And we talked about how, even though we enjoy the games, toys, clothes, and other presents that we get on Christmas, ultimately none of those gifts even come close to the greatest gift that we have been given. And that is the gift of Jesus Christ who came to earth to save us from our sins and bring us the hope of eternal life. So, even if we received no other gifts at Christmas time, we would still have so much to celebrate.
This year Christmas is on Sunday. That doesn’t happen too often. And when it does, we can look at it like it puts a crimp in our plans to celebrate with our families. Or we can embrace the opportunity to focus on what Christmas is all about and take advantage of the opportunity to celebrate the greatest gift that we have ever received. This Sunday at The River, we will be focusing on that great gift. Consider joining us this Sunday, at 9:30 a.m., at 2510 Chaska Blvd., to celebrate the birth of Jesus.