What is Christmas all about? What is life all about? (Give unto others as you have had it given unto you.) Christmas is about the generosity of God. He gave of Himself generously and sacrificially to come to earth to rescue mankind. He came to offer them “peace on earth” and “good will toward men.” This literally means that God offers to fix the enmity between mankind and God. He offers a peace treaty to you and I, if we will receive it.
We must admit that our selfishness, self-centeredness, and desire to be our own Savior has caused an irreconcilable rift between God and us. Then, we can see our need for a peace treaty. It’s only when we realize we can’t fix the rift ourselves and admit that we don’t deserve the grace God offers, that we are able to have our hearts melt at the generosity of God. If we “deserve” God’s generosity or “expect” God’s grace, it is no longer grace; but merely a “payment” for goods and services received by us. We will miss the real meaning of grace and the real meaning of Christmas: The Generosity of God.
Christianity proclaims loud and clear the lavish generous Spirit of a God who would die for a traitor race, and would come to dwell among them. And when His gift begins to saturate your heart, you want to be as generous to others as God as been to you. You want to organize your life to make lots of money, so you can give lots of money away to others around you. Saint Nicholas was a follower of Christ who discovered the meaning of Christmas. He had received Christ as his forgiver and leader, and was so struck by God’s mercy that he began to help those around him.
The oral tradition is that a poor family didn’t have enough money for a dowry for a young daughter. Saint Nicholas heard about the need and secretly threw a bag of gold into an open window one night. The story obviously grew like many fish stories. Eventually the town heard that the family had hung their stockings by the fire the night before — and a bag of gold flew through an open window and landed in their hanging stockings. But behind the exaggerations and warm fuzzy traditions is a real man who gave generously because of a real God who had given generously to Him. Christ’s generous act of grace is the only source that can warm your heart this holiday season and the rest of the year.
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