Giving presents is usual at Christmas night. We are happy when we receive presents and also like to make our family and friends happy. Gifts are a sign of love. The most beautiful presents are not the most expensive, but those that come from our heart. Time spent together, a good thought and the knowledge that someone is thinking of me are much more valuable presents to me than anything material.
But where does the custom come from that we give each other presents at Christmas? I did some research and found out that Martin Luther introduced this tradition. Originally, Christmas was not associated with giving. St. Nicholas used to bring presents on December 6th. Luther shifted this tradition to Christmas in the 16th century. On the one hand, because, as is well known, he did not think too much of the adoration of saints. On the other hand, he emphasized that the birth of Jesus Christ in the stable in Bethlehem is God’s greatest gift to us humans. Luther thought that when children receive a real, tangible present for Christmas, they are visibly reminded of God’s present. The message becomes “more tangible” for them. So it happened that today we give each other presents at Christmas.
The birth of Jesus is God’s greatest present to us humans. God gives himself, becomes human, in order to meet us and to be close to us. We are not indifferent to him, God is with us. Jesus! In him is love, forgiveness, grace, joy, light, healing, peace, reconciliation, security, hope and eternal life. And we can only accept this gift with our heart, accept it in our hearts.
“And the angel said to them: Do not be afraid! For, behold, I tell you great joy, which will be for all the people. For a Savior has been born to you today, who is the Lord Christ in David’s city ”Luke 2:10
The child in the manger is growing up and has a mission to fulfill. He is the Savior and Redeemer of the whole world.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that all who believe in him should not perish, but have eternal life” John 3:16
The prophet Isaiah foretold his gift to us more than 700 centuries before the birth of Jesus:
- The “wonderful advisor”: Jesus guides and leads us through every situation and circumstance, he is our light. He can even work miracles for us.
- The “strong God”: In Jesus we recognize the essence of God, his power, strength and omnipotence.
- The “Eternal Father”: Through Jesus we have reconciliation with God and access to God the Father.
- The “Prince of Peace”: Jesus brings peace between God and man. He gives us his peace that the world does not know.
Finally, with a short Christmas story, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Let us be fullfilled with the love of God and his priceless present to us.
The dream (author unknown)
Around Christmas a boy had a memorable dream. In it Jesus spoke to him and asked him for three presents. The boy immediately offered him his new piece of clothing, his electric train and his beautiful picture book. “No,” replied Jesus, “I don’t need any of that. I wish something different from you. Give me your last essay! ” – The boy was frightened: “But the teacher gave this essay a five!” – «That’s exactly why I want it. Bring me everything that is signed with “failed”. “Then give me your breakfast cup” – “But I broke it! “-” Do you want to give me everything that is broken and destroyed in your life? ” “Here is my third wish: I want you to bring me the answer you gave your mom when she asked you to bring her that cup.” – “But I lied and claimed that it fell down, although I had deliberately thrown it down.” – “Yes, I know,” answered Jesus. “Bring me all your lies, your disobedience, the bad you’ve done so that I can help you, forgive you, heal you and change you.” When the little boy woke up from this dream, it was suddenly clear to him why God became a man and why Christ was born as Savior of the world: To be able to change everything that has failed, destroyed and bad in us, and instead of it give us the wonderful present of eternal life.