A red Schwinn 10-speed, a Nintendo gaming system, and the Millennium Falcon. Each of those items served as “The Big Gift” for various Christmases of my childhood. You are probably familiar with The Big Gift concept. You told anyone who would listen that this item was on your list for at least a month before Christmas. You strategically left toy catalogs where your parents would see them, conveniently left open to the page of the item you wanted. It was the big ticket item that usually didn’t appear under the tree until Christmas morning. Often The Big Gift was unwrapped so that it could be displayed in all its glory.
At Christmas we celebrate the biggest gift of all. John 1:14 says, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” God the Father gave His Son Jesus to live on earth, both fully man and fully God, to dwell among us. He lived a sinless life and died on the cross, taking the punishment our sins deserve upon Himself, and rose again on the third day. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Ephesians 2:8 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” The Big Gifts I mentioned above were not given to me because I had been an especially “good boy.” I can’t remember a single Christmas when I did not receive good gifts, even though some years I had not been particularly nice (I’m looking at you 7th grade Jon). The gifts were given to me because my parents loved me unconditionally. The gift of salvation and of knowing God is not something any of us could earn. It is a gift of grace through faith in Jesus. What a wonderful gift!
As a child, when you received The Big Gift, what did you do? At first you enjoyed the gift, but then you told others. The first day back to school after Christmas break inevitably involved discussing what you got for Christmas with friends. The news of good gifts is meant to be shared. Since we have this great gift of salvation, may we be faithful to share this good news with others. Christmas is a time when people can be searching. Be prepared to share the gospel with them. Also be in prayer for our missionaries around the world as they labor to share the gospel. Prayerfully consider what God would lead you to give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for international missions, which makes it possible for people around the world to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus. Knowing Jesus is truly the Biggest Gift anyone could ever receive.