From Pastor Davies – 12/20
Christmas is a time to remember the gift God has given to us. That gift is Jesus Christ. John stated it best when he wrote: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son” (John 3:16). The gift of God given to us at Christmas is the gift of himself. In Christ, God entered our world. And through this incredible gift, God gave us a teacher, an example, and a Savior.
First, in Christ, God has given us a teacher. That Jesus was a great teacher cannot be disputed. Certainly the Sermon on the Mount (see Matthew, chapters 5-7) is a beautiful example of teaching at its best. Jesus knew how to express himself so that he could command the attention of his hearers and be assured that they would not forget what he said.
I believe, however, that God has given us more than a teacher in the coming of Christ into the world. Our world has had more than its share of teachers. After all, it is not too difficult to teach and preach. It is, however, far more difficult to practice what is taught.
It has been said that the best teacher is someone who sets an example. Jesus was different from all other teachers and preachers. Why? Because he practiced what he preached.
For example, many people have preached or taught that we should be forgiving. But only Christ prayed as he was nailed to a cross, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). Jesus lived what he taught, even unto death. Then, too, throughout his ministry, Jesus taught that people must be loving. He practiced what he preached. Consider the deep, compassionate love he gave to the woman of Samaria, a total stranger. At Christmas God gave us in Christ, not only a teacher, but a model and example of what we ought to be. In him we see what we should be as the children of God.
Yet, if this is all we understand about Jesus Christ, we will have missed the real meaning of the gift which God has given us. It was the angels who understood the nature of God’s gift: “I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people; to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah (or the Christ), the Lord” (Luke 2:10- 11).
The gift that God gives us at Christmas is a “Savior who is Christ the Lord.” This is an unparalleled gift. The gift of salvation in Jesus Christ has no counterpart or equal in history. No other religion has a risen savior. Jesus Christ left nothing behind but an empty tomb.
And so, what is the gift which God gives us at Christmas? It is the gift of himself – Jesus Christ. And he is our Savor. He is our teacher. He is our example.
Yes, God so loved the world – you and me – that he gave his one and only Son. My friend, receive him into your heart and home this Christmas.