by Dn Ronnie Tan
Christmas is a time of merry-making, exchanging of gifts with family and friends and singing Christmas carols. It is also the time to have Santa Claus saying, “Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas!” At least, that is how the world seems to define it.
To some Christians, it is about coming to church to sing Christmas carols, hear the Christmas sermon and in some instances, re-enacting the Nativity scene, wishing each other “Blessed Christmas!” and then off they go for caroling. Sounds very cliché, right?
The more mature Christian may say it is about commemorating the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ because God loved the world so much that He sent His only begotten Son (John 3:16) to be born in a manger and to later die on the cross for our sins. Is that all there is about the meaning of Christmas?
Christmas should rightly be a time to remember that God gave His greatest gift to mankind – the Lord Jesus Christ as a sacrificial lamb to take away the sins of the world. (John 1:29) Yes! Our Lord Jesus Christ gave up Heaven’s glory to dwell among sinful man. He even gave His life so that sinners who believe in Him and accept Him as their Lord and Saviour can have eternal life in Heaven. To me, the greatest Christmas gift of all was the gift of eternal life made possible by God’s sacrificial love for us, which was manifested by our Lord’s agonizing death on the cross for our sins. In so doing, He gave us His all.
While we exchange gifts with each other, let us pause to think about what we can give to our Lord and fellow believers in return for the incomparable love He showered upon us. Before He was betrayed and crucified, our Lord served countless people, regardless of status. “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)
While Christmas occurs once a year, we do not have to wait for 25 December to come by before we present our gifts of time, talent or even money unto our Lord.
God gave each of us different talents and abilities to serve Him and our fellow Christians. Just as our Lord Jesus came not to be waited on but to serve, we too can present our service for Christ’s glory all year round.
A story was told of a pastor and his young son who would go out to the neighbourhood tracting after worship service and Sunday School. One Sunday, it rained heavily and the pastor decided it would not be a good idea to go out door-to-door to give out tracts. However, the son begged his father to let him go alone.
After a while, the pastor relented. At one of the homes, the boy pressed on the doorbell but got no answer. However, he persisted and after a while, an old widow appeared at the door. The boy gave her the tract and said something to this effect, “Ma’am, I want you to know that Jesus loves you.”
The week after, the old widow came to church. After the service was over, she stood up and revealed to the congregation that she was about to hang herself when the doorbell rang. Thinking it would go away, she thought she would just put the noose around her neck and kill herself. However, the boy did not stop ringing the doorbell until the old widow came down and opened the door, to be greeted by the sight of a young boy telling her God loved her. The boy’s desire to share the gift of God’s love prevented her from spending eternity in Hell. Needless to say, there was not a single dry eye after she delivered her testimony. A soul had been saved because a little boy gave his homely comfort on a rainy day to give his time to the Lord.
We too, can give of our time, talent and even money if only we want to and not be content with resting on our laurels and warming the pews. No one is too old or too young to present tangible and intangible gifts. When we honour our Lord and give Him our best, He will bless us abundantly. (Proverbs 3:9-10)