Getting What We Don't Have

images-14I keep seeing messages like this one on Facebook for the Christmas season: “We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.” And while I was in the grocery store with my 7-year-old son, he says this to me: “Mom, I know what Christmas is about. It’s about giving.” To which I responded: “Actually, Haydn, it’s about receiving. We feel compelled to give at Christmastime because we have been given so much in Christ, the ultimate gift.” (This was all in the context of us shopping for a food pantry donation.) Happiness does come as a result of getting the very thing that we cannot get for ourselves—true righteousness. A Savior was born, and that Savior was the Son of God! Nothing else that I already have is worth anything without Christ. Nothing will ever satisfy my longing for happiness unless it comes from the all-sufficient source of blessedness. Christmas is a reminder of my own neediness, and a celebration of my Provider. It also beckons me to want more, the consummation of the promise given in Christ—to join in his inheritance in perfect holiness on the new heavens and new earth. Until then I do receive Christ and all his benefits every Lord’s day, as I am privileged to have a taste of the age to come. In many ways the Christian is just like a young child at Christmas. They are receivers even when they want to give a gift, needing money for the gift and even a ride to the store. God was pleased to give us both a Savior and the faith to receive him. And like a child on Christmas Eve, we wait in expectation for his glorious return. Christmas is about receiving. Joy to the world, the Lord has come!