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The Festival of the Father

He (God) did not give His Son for the purpose of coming to straighten us out.

Of all our customs at Christmas time, gift giving is perhaps the most universal. It may also be the most exciting custom, at least in the minds of children who can’t wait to see what they will get for Christmas. When a gift is received, it’s natural to want to examine it carefully. It is exciting to get something new and to try it out.

However, we don’t want to forget the giver. The gift means so much more when it is given by someone who loves us. While a new shirt or piece of jewelry is nice to receive and a new toy can be fun, the real gift is the love of the person who chose that particular present and paid the price to give it to us.

Isn’t that really what the festival of Christmas is all about? We have received the most incredible gift of all – the eternal, holy Son of God, wrapped in the flesh of a little baby. We rejoice in that gift. He is beautiful and wonderful. We want to examine Him carefully and use Him and find our joy in Him.

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!”
1 John 3:1

At the same time we don’t want to forget the Giver. We can often tell a lot about the heart of the giver by looking at the gift. When we really love and care for someone, we as the givers don’t want to get any old piece of junk just to have something to give. Instead, don’t we spend time searching for something that will be meaningful and will last?

Also, the more the person means to us, the more we will be willing to sacrifice to get something really special, because love knows no bounds. The greater the sacrifice, the greater the love of the giver.

His Most Precious Possession!

At Christmas time, let’s consider the overwhelming love of our heavenly Father by looking at the Gift we have received from Him. God did not give us mere earthly riches or just anything that He created. No, God the Father gave His most precious possession – His only begotten Son.

And He did not give His Son for the purpose of coming to straighten us out. The Father gave the Son to a world that would despise and reject Him, that would beat Him and crucify Him. He gave His Son to suffer for the crimes and sins we have committed, all so that we can become His children forever.

Simply put, this gift fulfills our greatest need and truly lasts forever! We were lost in sin and condemned to eternal death, separated from God and His love forever. Yet God gave His Son to rescue us from that fate, to reconcile us to Himself and to give eternal life to us as His believing children.

“Behold what manner of love the Father has given unto us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1) Oh how wonderful and joyful it is to be loved so much that God would give us such an incredible gift!

At Easter we celebrate the amazing love and devotion of Jesus, the Son of God, as He sacrificed Himself for us on the cross and rose again to secure our
forgiveness and salvation. Then on Pentecost we celebrate the festival of the Holy Spirit who works powerfully in our hearts and builds His Church with His Word.

Christmas is the Festival of the Father, who “so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…” (John 3:16). The greatest expression of thanks is
to use and treasure the gift we are given.

May we love and use the Gift – our Lord Jesus Christ – and may each of us
praise and thank the Giver with all our heart.