The best gift ever!

December 19, 2023
By: Aaron Armstrong

What was your most-favorite Christmas gift growing up? Almost all of us can think of something. For me, it was probably the Batman mug I was given in 1989. (I still have it more than 30 years later.) But as I grew into adulthood, the excitement around Christmas faded, as I suspect it does for most of us. Gifts, decorating, it all felt a bit perfunctory.

Until I became a Christian. Then, Christmas became exciting again. But it wasn’t because presents suddenly became exciting again. And decorating still didn’t hold much joy. It was because I understood why Christmas mattered and had received the best gift anyone could ever receive.

Refreshing the Familiar

There are certain passages we read and hear every year. It’s a near-certainty that you’ve heard Isaiah 9:1-7; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:1-2:19; and maybe even John 1:14 preached or read in a worship gathering in December. Social media feeds will be full of similar Bible verses on Christmas morning. We know the stories so well that we can paraphrase them with ease, if not quote verbatim. They are familiar to us—so familiar that we risk missing their beauty.

We need to remember the gift they point to: God came to be with us.

“Now the birth of Jesus Christ happened this way,” says Matthew 1:18. “While his mother Mary was engaged to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit” (NET, emphasis mine). Jesus, the Eternal Word, who was with God from before creation and was God, “became flesh and took up residence among us” (John 1:1-2,14, NET).

Stop and consider that. That the all-knowing, all-powerful God would enter the world and walk among us. The God who is “too just to tolerate evil” (Hab. 1:13), who does not look favorably upon sin, came to show His favor to us. To live as one of us, to die in place of us, and to rise again in victory for us, so that through Him we might have everlasting life.

This is the promise Scripture offers us, the meaning Mary’s pregnancy is pregnant with. The greatest gift any of us could ever receive.

The best gift and the best news ever

That’s why Christmas became so exciting to me again. And it continues to be exciting to me with each passing year (even if I’m still not much for the décor). It is the best gift ever because it is the best news ever. I look forward to hearing and reading these familiar passages every year. I’m excited to talk about them with my family, church, and neighbors. And I hope that, as Christmas approaches, you will be find renewed excitement about this too. The beautiful gift of God with us. The gift that is good news of great joy for the whole world.

Aaron Armstrong

Aaron Armstrong is a Marketing Director with Thomas Nelson Bibles. He is also the author of multiple books, documentaries, and Bible studies, including I’m a Christian—Now What?: A Guide to Your New Life with Christ. A Canadian living in the United States, Aaron serves at his local church as a small group leader and as a part of its preaching team. He loves to write, especially to help people grow as followers of Jesus. To learn more, visit aaronarmstrong.co.

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