My wife, Barbara, loves to decorate for Christmas. Her joy becomes the delight of the whole family as we watch and see what new arrangement of expression she puts together in the house each year. Her goal is to have everything in place by Thanksgiving so it can be enjoyed throughout the Christmas season. That good pleasure (which is a lot of work) overflows into the yard with a collection of lighted figures for all to enjoy who drive by the house at night just outside of town toward Hollywood.
Every light, every reindeer, every Santa, sleigh, tree, and gift, and of course every manger scene, all speak of one thing: Jesus is the Light of a dark world who is the gift of God who has come to give good gifts unto mankind.
After giving himself, he then gave the Holy Spirit which is the very life, Spirit, and power of God who is given to dwell with us as our “Immanuel” which means “God with us” (Isaiah 7: 14.
God’s love is given to us, “shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given to us” (Romans 5:5), so that where our love may fail, we can learn to live in his love through the power of the Holy Spirit.
His peace is given to us: “My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14: 27). When we have no peace within ourselves, we can rely on him and know his peace through that same Spirit.
He gives joy in a relationship available to us so that in his name we can “ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:24). This is a fulfillment of the angelic announcement of the birth of Jesus “Fear not…I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people” (Luke 2: 10).
Because of the gift of his righteousness, we can have eternal life, which is truly a reason to celebrate in the biggest of ways: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6: 23).
As you see the lights, the trees, the reindeer, the Santa’s, the gifts, the joyful children and all the surrounding festivities, just remember it is time to celebrate God’s great gift to the world.