I like to tell my kids that Christmas shouldn't be all about the getting. It should be about the giving. It sounds good, right? Christmas is about giving to others. It's a noble idea. And it's not wrong. Christmas is about giving to others, about being a picture of Jesus to others.
But that's not what Christmas is primarily about. Somewhere in the middle of the tinsel and the wrapping paper and the focus on giving and getting, we can miss the most important aspect of Christmas. Christmas is about love.
Christmas is about a God who loves us so much that He sent His Son to come and live on earth in human form with the primary purpose of defeating death so that He could bridge the gap between God and us.
Christmas is about Jesus, who gave up his heavenly throne to be born in a dirty, smelly stable in a world that simply didn't care enough to give His earthly parents a decent bed.
Christmas is about a God who wants so badly to have a relationship with us that He was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice.
Without love, none of that happens. Without God's all-consuming love, we would be left to live eternity separated from Him. We can't begin to understand the greatness of God's love. Ephesians 3:17-18 says "And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." God's love is higher, wider, longer and deeper than we can imagine. It wraps us up and fills us up, and it is the reason we have Christmas.
As you wrap the presents and place them under the tree, as you sit down to Christmas dinner with family and friends, and as you finish out these last days of the Christmas season, help your family remember that while gifts are nice and traditions are fun, love is the primary reason for Christmas. Help your family remember that the words of Silent Night really are true -- Jesus is "love's pure light," and as we hustle and bustle through this season, we need to remember to spread His love to others. Whether that's through a gift, a few kind words, or a kind act, when we act in love toward others, we are truly living in the spirit of the Christmas season.