Christmas is a time of expectancy. No matter how many Christmases you have experienced, there is something in the air at this time of year; there’s a spirit of the season that sparks anticipation. Jesus’ arrival had been long expected. Dozens of prophecies and centuries of anticipation led up to his birth in Bethlehem. But he didn’t come in riches and prominence as many had envisioned; he came as a baby born in the most meager of circumstances. There was no big news story, no showering of gifts and attention. Yet, in the person of a tiny child came the greatest gifts ever known to humankind. Sometimes the smallest things bring more than we expect or imagine.

Scriptures
Jer 29:13; Isa 43:18-19; Eph 1:5

Verse
“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jer 29:13) ”Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” (Is 43:18-19) So he decided long ago to adopt us. He adopted us as his children with all the rights children have. He did it because of what Jesus Christ has done. It pleased God to do it. (Eph 1:5)

Thought
The Gifts of Christmas are ours because of Jesus. His arrival ushered in the gift of grace. Through grace we can receive what we do not deserve—a relationship with God. Grace makes room for all kinds of people to come to God. Where religion focused on rules and regulations; grace extends love and forgiveness. Jesus brought the gift of reconciliation. The past can be forgotten and relationships can be made new. God took initiative and built the relational bridge that leads us directly to Him. And because of Jesus we can become the sons and daughters of God—adoption into God’s family. How incredible to call God our Father. As we celebrate Christ’s birth, let’s remember to celebrate all that his birth has meant through the ages and what it means to us today. God calls us to share the Gifts of Christmas with our friends and family and those around us. The greatest gift of all is Jesus!

Questions
What are you expecting this Christmas? What do you see others around you expecting? When Christmas is past, do you usually feel your expectations have been met? Why or why not? Is Christmas a time of reconciliation for you? Does it need to be? If so, what do you need to do? To whom are you offering grace this Christmas? Who can you share the gifts of Christmas with this year? What can you do in the Name of Jesus that will make Christmas more meaningful for you?

Response
Take time to consider the true gifts of Christmas. Celebrate the grace that God has made possible through Jesus. If you have not received God’s grace through Jesus, pray now and ask Jesus to come into your heart. Thank God that He receives us as His children.

Prayer
Dear God, thank you for the celebration of Jesus’ birth and for what that means in my life and for my eternity. Help me to focus on the gifts that matter during this season of the year and to offer grace to those around me. Give me opportunities to share the gifts of Christmas with others so that they will come to know you and share in the gifts that are available through Jesus Christ. In Jesus Name I pray, amen