It’s the age old question that parents ask their kids (and husbands ask their wives): “What do you want for Christmas?” I remember asking my mom that question every Christmas. Her answer was always the same. “I just want you kids to be happy!” What mom wanted was not anything that could be wrapped in a box and placed under a tree. Mom wanted something more. She wanted to experience our love.
Over the last few weeks we’ve been talking about the gifts of Christmas: hope, peace, joy and love. These are all gifts that Jesus brings to us as He comes into our lives. But in a sense, these gifts are only the result of a more fundamental gift that Jesus brings: The joyous gift of forgiveness of our sins.
This Christmas we will both receive as well as give the “Gift of Joy!” God’s Word says that we should “look to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)
As Jesus was born into this dark, sin-filled world, He came forth in joy! Jesus knew that He was bringing new life! Jesus himself was filled with joy as he came to bring us joy! Conversely, as we receive Jesus into our hearts, we too are filled with the joy that comes from the love and mercy of our Savior! It’s a “joyful exchange!” As we come to Jesus, bringing Him our sins, He joyfully comes to us bringing us the forgiveness that brings us a joyful, eternal life!
What do you want for Christmas? Don’t settle for something that can be wrapped up and put under a tree. Receive the gift of forgiveness that Jesus brings true joy! In Christmas, Jesus brings forgiveness of sins, eternal life and salvation! Receive the gift of Jesus’ love and experience the joy that He brings!