Monday, December 18, 2006

18th Day of Christmas - Giving Gifts

For God so loved the world that he gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

Many believe the tradition of gift giving started with the wise men who brought their gifts to Mary and her child. Is this true? Yes and no. The true first gift was God giving us His Son as a sacrifice to us, however after that the wise men probably did start the tradition.

The predecessor to our modern day piggy bank was used a long time ago in Holland by young children. It was a pig shaped pot which the children would fill with pennies throughout the year. It was called a "feast pig" and on the day after Christmas, the children would break them open and give the money collected during the year to the poor. In this way they gave to those who could not give back to them. This is what God did for us. We can never match the gift he gave to us because you can't out-give God!

In the spirit of God's gift to us, it is no wonder that we are willing to go all out each year to sacrifice our time & money to find that perfect gift for our loved ones. Giving is the heart of the Christmas season. This year as you give your gifts to others, remember the original Christmas gift, that of the Father's Son for us.

I once saw a Christmas pageant with little children ages 2 to 5 dressed in cardboard boxes wrapped in Christmas paper and big bows on their heads singing "Jesus is the greatest gift of all". They were absolutely adorable and absolutely correct. Jesus is the greatest gift of all. Don't ever forget that in the hustle and bustle of the season and the rush of our everyday world.

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