Sometimes the best feelings that we have in life are a clue to what life is really all about.
I’m often reminded of C.S. Lewis — perhaps the greatest author of the 20th century — who explained so elegantly how the human experience points our hearts and minds toward the existence of heaven. In his classic “Mere Christianity,” he wrote: “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”
Lewis was dealing with the human longing for a perfect existence, and using it to make a case for the existence of God and Heaven. But his logical process can be applied to all sorts of things in life. Christmas is a perfect example.
For many people, Christmas is the best time of the year. It’s not about the weather, the lights, the colors, the candy or the songs, although those things are all great fun. The wonder of Christmas comes from the Christmas spirit itself. And the spirit of Christmas is the spirit of giving.
We love to receive presents on Christmas, but what we really enjoy is giving them. Did you ever notice as a young person that, as excited as you were to open all of your presents, you got the biggest thrill out of watching your parents or siblings open the gifts that you had given them? I sure noticed it, and I realize now that it works that way because that’s the way that God made us. He tells us in Acts 20:35 — “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Of course, Christmas has a deeper meaning than just the gifts beneath the tree. During the Christmas season, we celebrate and give thanks for God inserting Himself into our world in the form of a poor and vulnerable baby boy. That boy went on to become our savior. and was God’s greatest gift to humankind. In fact, the gifts that we give to each other during Christmas are really just a reflection and a representation of the great gift that God gave to us.
And that brings me back to my original idea: The things that make us feel wonderful are an indication of the purpose for which we were really created. We all love the Christmas season and its feeling of goodwill and generosity. We cherish the opportunity to give gifts on Christmas. So could it be that the euphoria of Christmas is an indication of the way that we ought to be living all year round?
I believe that we love Christmas so much because during this brief season every year, we spend our time living the way we are designed to live. We give thanks. We give to each other. We give to the poor. We exercise love and compassion. We live the values and the generosity that God wants us to embody all year round.
During this Christmas season, I hope that you enjoy time with your loved ones and the opportunity to bless them. But I also hope that you’ll spend some time reflecting on what Christmas tells you about the meaning of your life. The legacy of the first Christmas was God’s great gift to the world. Let the legacy of this Christmas be a renewed spirit of generosity that follows you throughout the year.
We were made by God to be givers, and we demonstrate His love in a powerful way when we give to others. There is so much need in this world, and so many great opportunities to make a difference through generosity. Let the wonderful feelings of Christmas inspire you to leave a lasting legacy of generosity in every area of your life.
Thanks for reading, and may you have the most blessed and Merry Christmas!
– Brian and Laura
Photo by Ralph Daily. Used under Creative Commons License.