In the hustle and bustle of rushing around during the Holiday season, it is easy to lose our focus on what is important. Everywhere that we go, we are bombarded with advertising for pretty shiny things that we supposedly can’t live without. Many times, we lose focus of the real meaning of Christmas as we try to fill our trees with gifts. It is easy to forget that the most important person who ever lived, Jesus Christ, only received three gifts on the first Christmas.
The historical record of the birth of Jesus can be found in the Bible in Matthew 1:18-25 and in Luke 2:1-20. His birth provided hope for the world. When the wise men came to bring gifts to our Lord, they only brought three: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. On the surface, these may seem like odd gifts for a child, even a child that was sent to save the world from its sins. However, when we look at the deeper meaning of these gifts it provides further proof of the future role that His ministry will mean for those who believe in Him. Gold has great value, and it represents His kingship on Earth. Frankincense, a special incense, is a symbol of His priesthood. And myrrh, an anointing oil, has special meaning, as it was common to anoint the dead with oil. This gift foreshadows the later crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ.
During the Christmas season, as I look around at all the trappings of the season that we always put up, I am reminded of the following old story:
Just a week before Christmas, I had a visitor. This is how it happened. I had just finished the household chores for the night and was preparing to go to bed, when I heard a noise in the front of the house. I opened the door to the front room and to my surprise, Santa himself stepped out next to the fireplace.
“What are you doing?” I started to ask. The words choked up in my throat and I saw he had tears in his eyes. His usual jolly manner was gone. Gone was the eager, boisterous soul we all know. He then answered me with a simple statement…
“Teach the children!” I was puzzled. What did he mean? He anticipated my questions and with one quick movement brought forth a miniature toy bag from behind the tree. As I sat bewildered, Santa said, “Teach the children!”
“Teach them the old meaning of Christmas. The meaning that now-a-days Christmas has forgotten.” Santa then reached in his bag and pulled out a fir tree and placed it before the mantle. “Teach the children that the pure green color of this stately fir tree remains green all year round, depicting the everlasting hope of mankind, all the needles point Heavenward, making it a symbol of man’s thoughts pointing toward Heaven.”
He again reached into his bag and pulled out a brilliant star. “Teach the children that the star was the Heavenly sign of promises long ago. God promised a Savior for the world, and the star was the sign of fulfillment of His promise.”
He then reached into his bag and pulled out a candle. “Teach the children that the candle symbolizes that Christ is the light of the world, and when we see this great light we are reminded of He who displaces the darkness.”
Once again he reached into his bag and removed a wreath and placed it on the tree. “Teach the children that the wreath symbolizes the real nature of love. Real love never ceases, love is one continuous round of affection.”
He then pulled from his bag an ornament of himself. “Teach the children that I, Santa Claus, symbolize the generosity and good will we feel during the month of December.”
He then brought out a holly leaf. “Teach the children that the holly plant represents immortality. It represents the crown of thorns worn by our Savior. The red holly berries represent the blood shed by Him.”
Next he pulled from his bag a gift and said, “Teach the children that God so loved the world that he gave his begotten Son.” Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift.
Santa then reached into his bag and pulled out a candy cane and hung it on the tree. “Teach the children that the candy cane represents the shepherd’s crook. The crook on the staff helps to bring back strayed sheep to the flock. The candy cane is the symbol that we are our brother’s keeper.”
He reached in again and pulled out an angel. “Teach the children that it was the angels that heralded in the glorious news of the Savior’s birth. The angels sang Glory to God in the highest, on Earth peace and good will toward men.”
Suddenly I heard a soft twinkling sound, and from his bag he pulled a bell. “Teach the children that as the lost sheep are found by the sound of the bell, it should ring mankind to the fold. The bell signifies guidance and return.”
Santa looked back and was pleased. He looked back at me and I saw that the twinkle was back in his eyes. He said, “Remember, teach the children the true meaning of Christmas and do not put me in the center, for I but a humble servant of the One that is, and I bow down to worship Him, Our Lord, our God.”
As we sit down to contemplate the true meaning of Christmas, please sit down and enjoy “O Holy Night” by David Phelps. Here at Actsoftx.com, we have been honored to be your remodeling partner for 30+ years.