“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
and the government will be in His shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Isaiah 9:6

We know when Christmas is coming. In Western countries, winter comes.  In the Philippines, we know Christmas season has begun when malls start playing Christmas carols, neighbors put up Christmas lights, families and companies start planning their parties, and churches have their midnight services.

As children, we get excited for Christmas because of the presents neatly wrapped under the tree.  But the truth is, Christmas is not about what we can get but what we have received. Many of us celebrate Christmas without really knowing what Christmas is made for. We do not entirely know why we give gifts or why do we need to prepare so much food. We grew up not knowing what Christmas is for because no one explained the greatness of the celebration. It is vital for us who claim to believe in Jesus because if we are not vigilant, we might think of Christmas as something about us and not about the Savior.

These are the words of the prophet Isaiah as he spoke about the coming of Jesus, the Messiah. In this chapter, Isaiah talks about the rejoicing of the people because they have seen a great light who is the Son of God. That they are joyful because of the peace that will never end.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be in His shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)

We celebrate Christmas because of Jesus’ coming. We celebrate because our salvation has come. We give gifts because we remember God’s goodness – that though we are hopeless and helpless, God sent his Son for us to be saved. We had already been on our way to destruction because we can never manufacture salvation.   But God gave the perfect sacrifice on our behalf so that we can really gain freedom. We rejoice and celebrate to remember His coming, His purpose and the gift of freedom and salvation that He brings to those who trust Him. We have received the greatest gift of all.

Christmas celebrations would just be earthly gatherings if God is not the center of it. Because we do this out of our remembrance of His love, we give because we are thankful to God for giving us Jesus.

This Christmas, give thanks for what He has already done.  Then tell a friend or a family member about the real reason for the season before giving your present. You’ll be glad you did.