It might seem clear that it's not really about Santa, reindeer, elves…or...candy canes, snowmen, stockings, wrapping paper, or even angels with halos.
But most commonly, it’s said the Christmas is ultimately about giving, not getting. Is that really true though?
In a way that is true, but in another way, its not. Christmas IS ultimately about giving in the sense that God the Father gave us Jesus Christ. He sent him into the world to be born as a little baby and grow up to be a man who can free us from our sin. But its about really about receiving in the sense that we, as human beings, must first receive from God before we can respond to God. We must get something from God before we can give back to God or others. And even then, in our giving back, we aren’t giving to establish or increase our favor with God but rather giving out of evidence of His favor upon us. Nothing we do in life can pay back or merit the favor of God. Nothing we do can make Him be pleased with us. That is what Christmas is really about – a gift you must receive—namely a person called Jesus with whom we have to come to terms with -- who He is and what He did.
If we make Christmas too much about "giving," we can too quickly jump to being like Jesus before we've stopped to meditate on being in Jesus. Let's not forget that to us, Jesus is fundamentally a Savior before He is anything else.
- He is not primarily a good teacher to receive advice from, although He is full of wisdom.
- He is not primarily a good example to copy in life, although He is the ultimate model.
- He is, however, primarily a Savior in which we must trust and submit.
So, what is Christmas really all about? Well, the Gospel tells us its really about getting, not giving -- that is, getting God Himself!
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:11, ESV)
She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). (Matthew 1:21-23, ESV)