The Greatest Gift of All
Deborah H. Bateman
During the Christmas holiday season, people are thinking about what gifts they will buy their loved ones. We are all busy decorating our homes with trees, lights, and wreaths. We are thinking about what kind of goodies we will make and what the menu will be for our Christmas celebrations.
We are going to parties and wrapping gifts. Amidst all the hustle and bustle of the Christmas holiday season, let’s not forget what the true reason for the season is. Christmas is supposed to be a holiday to celebrate the greatest gift of all, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
This Scripture in Luke 2 gives us the details of that glorious day. Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem to pay their taxes. It was near the time for Mary to deliver baby Jesus. While they were there her time to give birth came. The Scripture tells us she had her firstborn Son, wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
There were shepherds in the field keeping watch over their sheep at night when the angel of the Lord came upon them. The glory of the Lord shined about them and they were afraid. The angel said to them, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Then, the angel told them that they would find the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger.
Suddenly, with the angel was a heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” There was a great celebration on that day.
1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men
As we celebrate Jesus’ birth on Christmas, remember the greatest gift of all was not His birth, but the gift of salvation that God gave us through the death of His beloved Son on the cross for our sins.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16-17).
Have you received the greatest gift of all?
May God bless you and your family during this time of celebration.
**The Greatest Gift of All was published as “Christmas Gift” in December 2011 on my friend Janet Harlee’s Blog Just a Closer Stumble at: http://justacloserstumble.blogspot.com/2011/12/christmas-gift.html