If you were asked to explain the meaning of Christmas with one word, what would it be? Of course, the depth and richness of the Christmas message cannot adequately be contained in one word. But for me, as a person of faith, Christmas means hope. The tenets of the Christian faith teach that man exists in a fallen state, separated from our Creator by our own depraved nature. But God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish—John 3:16.
Putting aside all the disgruntled arguments that point out that nobody knows the exact date of His advent, only that it wasn’t actually on December 25—that’s just the agreed upon date that we celebrate the occasion— let’s focus on what it means rather than when it was. Why do we celebrate it? What’s the Big Deal??? How should we celebrate it?
Christ the Savior came into the world to take the punishment that you and I deserve for all of the bad things we do— or would like to do if we didn’t fear reprisal either from the law, or loss of reputation which could impact our wallet or position. If mankind is condemned to eternal separation from its Creator and eternal punishment because of his own sinfulness (there, I said it), and the very Creator Who rejects our sinful nature elects to pay the price to redeem us— that’s what I call a GIFT!!
Many people bemoan the commercialization of Christmas. I’m one of them. However, when I pause to consider that all of this gift-giving echoes the unspeakable, unfathomable Gift that was given to us, it shines a whole new light on the subject of giving.
The true essence of giving is the act of bestowing a blessing on someone who neither paid for it nor earned it. It is received without merit. To make this Christmas Season resonate with the full richness of all that we have set this time apart to celebrate, consider a gift to pay back, or pay forward... or perhaps even both!
What can you do to pay back? Consider a donation to Paralyzed Veterans of America (http://www.pva.org/about). PVA is the official philanthropy of The Knights of Nevertheless. Ten percent of all sales profits is donated to support our wounded heroes. Through this organization, wounded service men and women receive necessary services that enrich their lives free of charge. They’ve already paid the price for my freedom and yours. Since they had our backs… shouldn’t we have theirs?
How can you pay forward? Consider a donation to Live Action (https://liveaction.org/about/). They’re on a mission to protect and enrich the lives of the unborn. Someone protected your path to life… shouldn’t we protect the next generation?