It is Christmas every time you let God love others through you. ~ Mother Teresa
The Christmas season is upon us. Wintery scenes of past Christmases flood my mind. Happy memories mingling with huge evergreens and a few somber tears. All are reminders of how precious life is and the gift that keeps on giving.
During the early years of our marriage, my husband lost his job. After a few months, we couldn’t pay the rent or buy food for our children. With Christmas only weeks away, we didn’t have any presents to give—only time to sew a few blankets and stuffed animals, paint a few rooms in a friend’s home, and offer simple labors of love.
We made soup for elderly neighbors and took the boys to sing Christmas carols at our local nursing home. Every night, my husband and I held hands, prayed, and cried until an unexplainable peace filled our hearts with hope.
The chime of our doorbell sent my husband out of his chair late that Christmas Eve. He opened the door and found a huge red bag filled with gifts and food on the doorstep. To this day, the givers remain anonymous.
Although we were forever thankful and kept these brothers or sisters in our prayers, it never really mattered. We knew who the real giver was.
That year, and every year since, God has filled our home with magical Christmas blessings and hope—in sickness and in health, prosperity, or lack thereof. In sadness or joy. He is the gift that keeps giving and the reason we celebrate life. Immanuel. God with us…
For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.Isaiah 9:6 NIV
The reason is not about one season
Every December, after I push visions of sugar plums, white Christmases at home, and snow angels aside, my thoughts always settle on that babe in the manger. Jesus. The real reason we celebrate sharing, loving, and caring. Immanuel, God with us, the hope giver for all who let Him in. God’s son. The light and hope of all the world. Forever.
It’s not about one season. It’s not about belonging to a certain church or religion. It’s not about following the most popular priest or a preacher. It’s about belonging to and following God and His holy word. It’s about eternity.
The joy of Christmas
The biblical definition of joy says it’s a feeling of good pleasure and happiness that’s dependent on who Jesus is rather than on who we are or what is happening around us. I believe joy comes from the Holy Spirit, abiding in God’s presence, and from hope in his word.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.Romans 15:13 ESV
The difference a Savior makes
Life can be an uphill battle at times. We may feel alone in what we’re facing today, but with God, there is always hope. For me. For you. And all our tomorrows. Even when we don’t see immediate evidence of these Biblical truths, let’s remember that faith is all about believing in what is not seen.
In Matthew 28:20 ESV, Jesus said, “…observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Amen. In every season. Good or bad. Mountaintop or valley. That’s the difference a Savior makes.
Let’s keep on giving
Compassion can be a powerful gift. After all, loving actions speak louder than words—or wars. It’s not only each breath we breathe—but the hands we hold and lives we touch or inspire that stand as proof of God’s faithfulness.
No matter the circumstances we endure—because enduring when we don’t understand is one of the keys to finding peace that surpasses human understanding. It’s why I believe eternity makes the greatest difference, too.
God with us?
I pray I never get so caught up in the busyness of the holidays that I forget to dwell on the first Christmas. I hope my family never forgets too. We can lead by example when we give our imaginations wings and let them soar.
Click our heels three times or whatever it takes to land in the tiny town of Bethlehem instead of Oz—In the sweet, un-wed Mary’s shoes.
Near a lowly stable. Not a barren cornfield. We can sing like she did with child-like anticipation of amazing joy to come. And forever, we’ll celebrate the birth of a common man named Jesus. They called Him Immanuel. God with us. I say He’s the gift that keeps on giving.
For unto you is born a Savior…Luke 2:11 ESV
My Christmas wish for you
God is always faithful. He sent His Son to be born in a lowly manger to carry the sins of the world on His shoulders so we might live. I believe Jesus is the unequaled hope of the world…This year, and always, the best gift I have ever received is my Christmas wish for you. He is more than we can ever ask for or imagine—much more than what we think a Christmas present should be.
So, what if we let it be for God’s glory that we might run faster toward this hope we have in Jesus—the greatest gift worth sharing?
Above Love, joy, or peace on earth and goodwill toward man, if I could have one wish come true this Christmas season, without a doubt, I’d wish you, Jesus.
Sharing the gift of Christmas
Dear friends, I’ve often wondered why God keeps His eye on me, keeps on prodding me to strive (and ask) for my heart’s desires, and puts up with my indifference to His unimaginable love. Have you ever wondered about the difference a Savior can make in our lives?
What if Jesus is the gift that keeps on giving? Immanuel, God with us. With us. Always.
My hope is in His Word. His Way. His Truth. I pray yours is too. If not today, then someday. Now more than ever. This Christmas and always. I wish you Jesus, the gift that keeps on giving.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and stories. Please join the conversation here in the IAF comments section below. Read and share more from my Dreamdove’s Flights of Fancy blog or the DoveStories website. Let’s connect on Instagram, X (formerly Twitter) FB, and Pinterest too.