What are the top words that come to mind when you think about Christmas?
Write down the first 10...
Look at those words, anything interesting that you see? Any word pop up that you did not expect? Any word missing?
Where did the word, "gift" fall on your list? Or how about the word, "Jesus" or "Xmas?"
The word Christmas comes from Middle English Cristemasse, which in turn comes from Old English Cristes-messe, which literally means Christ’s Mass.
Did you write down Xmas?
I use to believe that writing “Xmas” instead of Christmas was an attempt to remove Christ from Christmas and may even consider it blasphemous. However, “X” in “Xmas” is not the English letter “ex," the idea of my "ex" girlfriend or boyfriend. It is an abbreviation of the Greek name of “Christ”, Χριστός (Christos), which means "anointed." This "X" instead of "Christ" can be traced many centuries back, as far back as 1100 AD.
During the Xmas season, I think we will hear one word more than any other. It’s not "Xmas," “merry,” “tree,” “Santa,” or even “Jesus.” It's the word “gift.”
By the end of November, we begin a frantic dash to find the right gift for everyone on our list. The word “gift” consumes us for a month.
Many people think that gift giving at Christmas was started by the Wise Men when they brought gifts to the baby Jesus. But it was God who started it all when He gave the first Christmas gift.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
On the first Christmas, God gave the greatest gift of all, He gave His Son. He gave His Son to die on the cross so you can have a forgiven past, a purpose for living, and a home in Heaven. Jesus is the original Christmas gift.
We only give because God gave to us first.
The spirit of Christmas is the spirit of generosity. “We are saved because the Master Jesus amazingly and out of sheer generosity moved to save us." Acts 15:11 (Msg)
If it weren’t for God’s generosity, we would have nothing. The air we breathe is a gift of God’s generosity. The blood flowing through our veins is a gift of God’s generosity. The fact that our hearts are beating is a gift of God’s generosity. Every good thing in your life, including your life itself, is a gift of God’s generosity.
But God’s greatest act of generosity came on the very first Christmas when He gave us Jesus.
When did you first open God's generous Xmas gift?
How are you contemplating this gift this season?
How can you join God and give this gift away this season?
Contemplating The Gift of all gifts and seeking to give that Gift to others,
Pastor Chris Reinertson enjoys all sports, especially those involving a ball. He loves to hang out with people and challenge them to be Jesus REVolutionizers.