Christmas is supposed to be a time of “peace on earth, goodwill toward men.”
How wonderful our homes, lives and world could be, if we really did put into practice the blessing of “peace on earth, good will toward men.” As Christmas comes, we think once again, maybe it’s not impossible. Maybe we really could have hearts filled with love and be kind to each other, and not just once a year, but all year long.
I’m sure most of us have begun our Christmas shopping. A few procrastinators may wait until almost the last minute, but most of us spend a great deal of time and thought in choosing just the right gift for that special person. We think about their needs, wants and what might make them happy. Then we go shopping, make that purchase, often spending more money than we planned. We gift wrap it and eagerly await the moment when that loved one will open our special gift. When he or she opens the box and looks at our gift, we eagerly anticipate expressions of delight. But if there are no expressions of delight, we’ll be disappointed, won’t we? Because in receiving the gift, they’re receiving us. Or if they reject it, they’re rejecting us. At least, that’s the way we feel, isn’t it? Even while we’re watching the faces of others to see how they receive our gifts, others will be watching us to see how we receive theirs. You see, giving and receiving is an important part of the Christmas season. What was God’s gift to us at Christmas time? I’m sure that most of you would say, “He gave his only begotten son.” And of course, you’re right. Others might say, “He gave us evidence of his love.” And of course, that would be right, too. I want to be a bit more specific than that, for in actuality, God gave us several very valuable gifts.
In Jesus Christ, God gave us the opportunity for the forgiveness of our sins. You see, we’ll never have peace with our fellow man until first we’re at peace with ourselves. And we can never really be at peace with ourselves until we’re at peace with God. And we can never be at peace with God until our sins have been forgiven.
— Keltner is associate pastor at Cornerstone Family Worship in Tonganoxie.