Christmas always provides an opportunity to give gifts. When I shop, I tend to be in and out of stores quickly. I see it, and then buy it. I have realized over the years that I can end up paying a bit more because I don’t always take the time to shop sales or start early, but there is still a budget and I can walk away without buying because something is too expensive.
In all my gift giving, I have never given to the point of becoming poor. I have spent more than I planned but it is still a long way from poverty. Then you read a verse in 2 Corinthians and it causes you to wonder.
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. 2 Corinthians 8:9
The wise men gave gifts that spoke to the worth and honor of Jesus. There was gold given because Jesus is a King. There was frankincense, an incense used in the temple because Jesus is our High Priest. Myrrh was also given and used by God’s prophets for anointing because Jesus is our great prophet. Everything bends and everyone rightly bows around Jesus and yet in He is the one that became poor. He left the glory of heaven, laid down his dignity, took the form of a servant, and obediently gave himself so that the richness of God would be shared.
Paul says, “for you know the grace of the Lord Christ.” It is the gift of Jesus that changes everything. When we discover and embrace this gift, a generosity of being is produced that allows us to live differently - to live rich. There are people that have incredible resources but are bound up in what they have and so live in a kind of prison. Christmas reminds us that Jesus has come to give you His richness. You are gifted with what you most need: life eternal, mercy overflowing, extravagant love, grace and favor, God’s presence and approval, a place in his family, and a place in God’s heart. Are you feeling rich yet?
This is the grace or gift of God that is revealed by the birth and sacrifice of Jesus and in the emptying of Himself to make us rich beyond our dreams.
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people. Ephesians 1:18
So we approach Christmas morning and every day after with the steadfast and prevailing sense that we are rich. This revelation doesn’t begin in palaces and with those content in their own wealth, but it enters into the most unlikely hearts, those looking for something better, and to their delight made rich by the generosity of our Savior, Jesus.