B.C. Forbes further explains, “….It moves us to think of others rather than of ourselves. It directs our thoughts to giving.” Today is unofficially recognized as the first official day of the Christmas Season. Stores are full of “perfect gifts” trimmed in red and green; ads for jewelry, perfumes, the latest technology, and toys flood the airwaves; and in malls across America, children can be found sitting with Santa and telling him what they hope to find when they wake up on Christmas morning. It’s impossible to miss the theme: Christmas is a time for giving.
Many families have changed their traditions so that gift-giving is no longer the primary focus of this time of year, as some feel that the holiday meant to celebrate the birth of our Savior has become too commercialized; however, giving gifts can be a pure expression of our love for others. In fact, God himself gave humankind the greatest gift of all: God in human form, the only perfect person ever to walk the earth, whose sole purpose was to die so that we might live.
Gift giving can also “open doors” so that Christians might share this good news. For children who don’t always have daily necessities, much less extras such as presents, receiving a gift shows that there are people in the world who love them, even if they’ve never met. This often makes them more receptive to hearing about Jesus, another man they haven’t met face-to-face, but who loves them enough to have died for them. To this end, Hillcrest’s Upper School students donated enough toys and candy to fill approximately 200 stockings, which will allow the staff and congregation of City Church to minister to local needy children.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16