Many children look forward to Christmas with dreams and anticipation of the gifts they will receive on Christmas morning. As a young boy, I would lie in bed on Christmas Eve unable to sleep. I thought about the toys that I would find under the tree the next morning, and I was filled with excitement and joy.

One year, my “great expectation” was for a model airplane. I had cut the picture of this plane from the Montgomery Ward catalog and carried it with me everywhere for weeks until most of the ink was worn from the page. I was obsessed with this model airplane, and I could hardly wait to lay my hands on it. I was just sure that this would be my main gift on Christmas morning. I was like Ralphie in the movie “The Christmas Story”. He dreamed and schemed with his parents to receive a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. I did the same dreaming and scheming for the model airplane. I was a typical young child.

As we become adults, our focus in life as Christians redirects us to the real meaning of the Christmas season. My question for all of us is this. Do we have the same passion, the same hope, the same “Great Expectation”, the same deep-rooted desire for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as we had for the toys of our childhood? It is easy to allow the cares of life to swallow us up to the point that we just don’t have the same “first love” desire for our Savior.

With this in mind, I have two suggestions for Christians everywhere to consider this Christmas season.

First, make a concerted effort to love Jesus with a great deal more passion than we had for those childhood toys. Remember His words that direct us in our gift giving for His birthday. Matthew 25:40 “The King (Jesus) will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ We need to direct most of our giving to those that would be considered “one of the least of these brothers and sisters”.

Secondly, as Christians, we need to make sure we instruct our children and family members on the real reason we celebrate this special day. Jesus is the “reason for the season”. He truly loves us and gave so much for us. He expects us to return this love. There is no better way to do this than to put Him first in our lives, and to share His love with our fellow man. We need to do this not only at Christmas, but throughout the entire year.

1 John 4:19 “We love because He (Jesus) first loved us.”

Also, we need to remember the words of a recent contemporary song that states, “He is surely alive… and He is coming back again.”

Have a Christ filled Christmas,
Grover Duling, CBC Executive Board member