Luke 2:10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
If Advent is about hope, expectation, and preparation, then Christmas is much simpler, for all of Christmas can be summed up in only one word - Love. Love is all that Christmas is about. Love is the thing that balanced Christmas since early childhood. Remember back to the first present that we made with out own hands, and how we wrapped it, and how it was so hard to wait to Christmas to see how surprised our parents would be at the wonderful thing we made for them. And they whole while we worked on it, the thing that made us do our very best, is our love for our parents. And when the time finally arrived, and they opened our presents, do you remember the joy on their faces as they saw what we had done, and how happy we all were. Love is at the center of Christmas. And the giving of gifts is an expression of that love, and the wonderful thing about love, and the giving of gifts is that this love is contagious, it passes from person to person, lifting the spirits, and bringing joy and gladness.
And perhaps thatís the point behind wrapping the presents. It too is an expression of love. But it even more, it helps to heighten the wonder and surprise. It is fun to watch, and see them pick up the package, shake it, and you know that theyíre wondering what it could be. Then its through the ribbons and bows, through the wrapping paper, through the tape that seals the box to find out whatís inside - and its wonderful, just what I always wanted. How did you ever know? That you so much. Iíll treasure it always. This is the love which is at the heart of Christmas.
All of this love, is not a new thing. And all this love, has as its origin, the baby born to the virgin, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. You see, God gave the first Christmas gift, and his gift was Jesus to be our Savior. A Savior is someone who takes away all the bad things. Bad things are sins, and saviorís take them away. Saviorís take sins away, so that we are no longer selfish, saviorís make us new people, saviorís make us able to love. And we love because God first loved us, and the love of God changes us into loving people.
As we read the Bible, God tells us that we are a lot like Him. He also likes to see people open presents given in love. He likes to see the wonder and the surprise, and he likes to hear that He has given us just what we always wanted. He like to hear how we will treasure this always. And the wonderful thing about Godís Christmas present to us, is that each day we keep growing in our appreciation of it. Each day it grow more valuable, and more important in our lives. Each day it helps us to live as Godís chosen people, doing good and turning from evil. For Godís Christmas gift in Jesus Christ, is our salvation, forgiveness for all our sins, victory over every temptation, and life everlasting.
We know it wasnít cheap. God sent his only Son from heaven to earth. And Jesus became flesh and suffered and died to pay what our sins owed, so that he might set us free. God did this because he saw that we couldnít do it for ourselves. God did this because he loves us so much.
People had waited a long time to see this day. Ever since Adam & Eve ate that apple, people have been waiting, because God promised way back then that he would send a savior to free us from the power of sin, from the power of death, and from the power of the devil. Jesus, Godís Christmas gift to us has done all this. The long expected savior is come. The Love of God was made flesh and came into the world to bring us life and light and love. And the love that we share, is a love what came to us, when Jesus came into our hearts.
It is through this love, that God trusts that His love and the good news of Jesus will reach all people in the world, so that they can all hear, believe, and be changed by the love, which has changed us from sinners into saints, from the lost and condemned into the saved and redeemed - all because of Godís great gift of Love, His Son, to be our Savior. And this is what Christmas is all about.