Is giving the most important essence of Christmas?

Image for post
Image for post

Christmas has become the season for giving not only for Christians, but for the entirety of earth’s populations. There is nothing wrong with this because Christian Scripture, the Bible admonishes as follows:

If Christians are admonished to rejoice with those who rejoice, regardless of whether those rejoicing are Christians or not, but with rejoicing revolving around things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, excellent, praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8), it is good that non-Christians rejoice with Christians at timing of remembrance of birth of Jesus Christ — He who is author (Originator, Creator) and perfecter (Purifier) of Christian faith (Hebrews 12:1–2).

Implicit in Romans 12:15 is the truth that Christians who disagree with choice of December 25 for celebration of birth of Jesus Christ still can rejoice in spirit of Christmas without changing their beliefs about appropriateness of the day chosen for the remembrance. This is the case because it is fact that Jesus was born and lived on this earth and did unimaginably good things for others, things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, excellent, and praiseworthy. Regardless of day chosen then, it is good to rejoice in the fact that Jesus was born and lived on this earth for 33 and a half years.

In so far as Christians are concerned, giving at Christmas not only transpires between Christians but also between Christians and Jesus Christ. At Christmas time, Christians seek to honor Jesus Christ with special gifts that acknowledge His goodness, blessings, interventions, forgiveness, and favor in their lives over the course of another year. This intent and action on part of Christians is good and commendable and appreciated by Jehovah, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

While it is good to give to both fellow men (man or woman) and God at Christmas, there yet exists a better way to honor God at Christmas. In this regard, Micah 6:6-8 (NIV) declares:

With what shall I come before the LORD and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old?

Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

To act justly is to love truth and act on what is true.

To love mercy is to have capacity to love those undeserving of our love not because of their status but because of their actions.

To walk humbly with God, with Jesus Christ, with Jehovah is to never act as if we are more righteous than everyone else around us because only in presence of such attitude is it possible to know God better every day, every week, every month, every quarter, every year, every decade.

The message in Micah 6:6–8 is echoed in 1Corinthians 12:31; 13:1–3 both of which state (words in brackets mine):

But eagerly desire the greater gifts (Apostleship, Prophecy, Teaching, Healing). And now I show you the most excellent way.

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Through the Apostle Paul the Holy Spirit declares that development of capacity to love others creates more gifts towards God and others than exercise of gifts of Apostleship, Prophecy, Teaching, or Healing. In these words, Jesus Christ declares to Christians that attainment of greatness within His Kingdom is a function of capacity to walk in love, not a function of office occupied in Church, or glamour value of a gift endowed by Him.

It is not, however, Christians only that can choose love this Christmas or Yuletide season. Starting this Christmas season, non-Christians also can choose to develop more of a capacity to love others. Because as we all know deep inside of ourselves, our existence on this earth has real meaning only within context of the love we share with others.

The movie, Passengers, which I must say is a very good movie, illustrates how desperation for love can induce a man to do something that is wrong. Yet, however, there is a rightness to the action because the wrong action is deeply rooted in desire to love and be loved (seems like a contradiction, but no spoiler here). Rightness of intent and motive eventually is accepted by the woman because she accepts and realizes that while she has been wronged, she simultaneously has found love beyond her wildest expectations. In an imperfect world, it is the case at times that events which seem to hurt us simultaneously usher in the most wonderful exhilarating love into our lives.

Merry Christmas.

Written by

Educator and Researcher, Believer in Spirituality, Life is serious business, but we all are pilgrims so I write about important stuff with empathy and ethos

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store