I can remember a special Christmas holiday time in the early 1970’s, when I was looking forward, with eager anticipation, to a great present. In the 1970’s, many young boys were collecting GI Joe action figures. I already had a couple of Joes, but I really needed the GI Joe Mobile Command Center vehicle, the quintessential piece to any young man’s GI Joe collection. It was the ultimate boy gift for that Christmas season. On that Christmas morning, my parents did not disappoint. I opened the big box and found the big, yellow, all-wheel-drive GI Joe Mobile Command Center.
For many of us, Christmas memories are a blend of family time, special gifts, and all the sights, sounds, and smells of holiday times gone by. As Christians, our perceptions of Christmas time takes a deeper, spiritual understanding of God’s gift to all of us. Often our focus on gifts leads us away from the true reason for celebration. The popular song, All I Want for Christmas reminds us of our innate selfishness, and how we can make the celebration of Christ’s coming to earth all about ourselves.
If we are honest with ourselves, what we all truly want this season is hope. Our world seems to be spiraling in the wrong direction right now, and we need a definitive source of hope to cling to. In his letter to the Thessalonians, Paul encouraged the young Christians to be hopeful in the difficult times of persecution that they faced. I Thessalonians 5:8-9 states, “But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Paul’s charge to this young church was to place their hope Jesus Christ, the author of their salvation. This salvation would be the hope that they could carry with them, and wear as a helmet during the dark seasons of their lives.
Our experiences today, are much the same. We still need this type of hope to protect our minds and hearts in this evil world. God’s gift of salvation remains the best gift this world has ever seen, and we should be looking to share this gift with others this season.
Take a moment in the next few days to consider how you can share God’s greatest gift with people you know this season.