One of my family’s Christmas Eve traditions is a Jesus stocking. Every Christmas Eve, we gather in the living room to read the Christmas story, the birth of the Son of God as man. We take communion together, remembering the body that was broken for us and His blood that was shed for a new covenant. And then we take a blank 3×5 card and write down the gift we feel God is asking us to give of ourselves to Him. We share what it is with the family, pray over our gifts, and then place them His stocking.
Some of my gifts have been time, obedience, and affection.
This year, I could have re-gifted any one of my these as they seem to be the very things I continually struggle to surrender completely, but this past Sunday in church, as the pastor preached a sermon on the significance of Jesus’ birth, I got my gift for Jesus: to celebrate Christmas every day of the year.
Somehow, each and every day, to honor a part of the Christmas story.
From the gospel of Luke:
To know the certainty of the things the Bible instructs (1:4).
To walk righteous before God, blameless (1:6).
To believe God’s word and not doubt (1:20).
To love God and live in such a way to find favor with God (1:28-29).
To respond to God as Mary did, declaring, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word” (1:38).
To magnify the Lord in my soul and rejoice in God my Savior in my spirit (1:46-47).
To marvel and make widely known the things I have been told of Jesus (2:17-18).
To keep the things of the Lord and ponder them in my heart (2:19).
To glorify and praise God for all the things I’ve heard and seen (2:20).
As Christ Himself, to grow and become strong in spirit, filled with wisdom, the grace of God upon me (2:40).
From the gospel of Matthew:
To be just and willing to do what the Lord asks, even when it goes against culture (1:18-25).
To celebrate the birth of the Son of God as man, learning in the gospel of John He is:
The word, who was with God in the beginning, became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:1, 14);
Through whom all things were made, and without whom nothing was made that was made (1:3);
In whom is life and the light of men (1:4);
The light that shines in darkness (1:5), the true light that gives light to every man coming into the world (1:9);
Who gives as many as receive Him the right to be children of God, to those who believe in His name (1:12);
The glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (1:14).
To preach the gospel to myself every day, remembering:
My desperate condition when He saved me.
His work in my heart to draw me to Him, the day of my salvation and every day.
His suffering for the forgiveness of my sins.
What would have been had He not saved me.
To grasp every day the enormity of the free gift of grace, whereby He did it all before I was even formed in my mother’s womb.
To exercise the gift of faith He gives me to respond.
To surrender to His love and the reality of my nothingness before His goodness and greatness.
To make Him my first love, every day, because He first loved me.
To do all He asks of me because of all He’s done for me.
To walk according to His Spirit in my heart, my guarantee.
To keep an eternal perspective, because this earth is not my home.
Christmas and every day, declaring as Mary did in Luke 1:48-55:
He is Mighty to do great things for us.
Holy is His name.
His mercy is on those who fear Him.
He shows great strength with His arm, scattering the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He puts down the mighty from their thrones and exalts the lowly.
He fills the hungry with good things and sends the rich away empty.
Who helps His people always and keeps His promise to the seed of Abraham forever.
His birth was THE defining moment of all time.
May He define how we live our every day.
How we thank You, Father, for sending Your Son, Jesus. On this day that we set aside as His birthday, we praise You for the significance of His coming, His life, His death, and His resurrection. We are the ones who have received the greatest gift of all. As He gave His life for us, we give our lives to You, becoming more wholly Yours every day.