Hey... What did you get for Christmas? Did you get what you wanted?
A couple of years ago I got new coffee maker, and, at the time, I was very excited to get it. Today, for Christmas I got a new one and I set the old one near the door to go out with the trash. The old one that once was so great, is now yesterday's news. At some point the new one I received today will also give way to wear-and-tear, and also find it's way into the trash. That is true for material things... they are displaced from our affection... they can't bring us lasting joy.
You may have received many things for Christmas, but what will you keep?
God's gift of Jesus is so valuable; so life-giving; so extravagant; so transforming; so freeing; so cleansing; so redeeming, that most people give everything they have and celebrate to do so because they see the worth is Jesus as being greater than anything else they have.
Jesus is the only gift you'll keep for all eternity.
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
(Matthew 6:19-21 NIV84)
"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
(Matthew 13:44 NIV84)
You see, it's not about what you get for Christmas, it's what you keep.
The event of Christmas can bring temporary joy that is fleeting, but the presence of Jesus in your life can bring true and lasting joy. Jesus doesn't wear out, go out of style.
I'd like to wish you the eternal presence of Jesus through His Holy Spirit to be with you always. It's what you keep when Christmas is over that really matters. Jesus is not meant to emerge on December 25th, then go back into hiding until next year. The baby born in the manger grows. When He is born anew in you, the growth never stops.
May you experience the ever-growing presence of Christ in your life now and always. AMEN.
Brett Heintzman is passionate about the spiritual formation of God's people. These writings are designed to draw us close to God and to help us live out of the riches of His presence. It's all about being in the world but not of the world.