In just a few days, many of us will gather with friends and family to share in the giving and receiving of gifts. Some homes will be filled with gifts; others far more meager. Even so, young and old alike will eagerly wait for that day to arrive: the day called Christmas.
And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. Matthew 1:21
All too often, what is lost in this holiday season is the reason for the season. The reason is to try and remind mankind of the greatest gift ever given to mankind, the opportunity for absolute forgiveness. As Christians, this time of year should remind us that “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13-14) What an extraordinary gift to receive!
As you can tell from last week’s lesson, and the direction of this article, I have been giving a lot of thought to this idea of forgiveness. In part, it is because I know how desperately I need it. What if this year, the gift we choose to offer someone is what Jesus gave us; that is, forgiveness. Jesus taught the apostles how to pray and in that prayer He says, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” (Matthew 6:12) Paul taught the church in Ephesus, “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32) Forgiveness was never a gift intended to only be received; it is also to be given. And when we offer it, we are imitating the greatest giver, Jesus. Jesus, strengthen us to be sincere givers, like You.