Today I’m sharing a final message from Paul David Tripp about Christmas. During this season of Advent it behooves us to pause and ponder, to full-stop if necessary and purposely focus our attention on Jesus. He is the only reason for all that gives the very word “Christmas” it’s inherent, exclusive meaning. So, dear sisters, I invite you again to glimpse what “this” day is all about:
“I love the gift part of Christmas. I love shopping for gifts. I love buying gifts. I love wrapping gifts. I love the moment when the person that I’ve gotten the gift for opens the gift. I love thinking about the people in my family and what they would need or what they would appreciate. I love buying those things. I love seeing the smiles on their faces when they open the gift.
Christmas really is about a gift. It’s about the most amazing, incredible, unthinkable, counterintuitive, life-altering gift that could ever be given. And it’s a gift that’s unlike any gift that humanity has ever given.
You know, when I buy a gift for somebody I give them a thing and they take that thing and they use that thing. Christmas is not about that kind of gift. At Christmas this radical thing happens. The gift is the Giver.
You say, ‘Paul, I don’t understand what you’re talking about. That doesn’t make any sense.’ Well, God knew that our need, as sinners, was so profound; our lostness and pain and suffering in this fallen world would be so deep and inescapable, that the only thing He could give us, the only gift that would help us, is Himself.
Christmas is about God giving Himself to us. Jesus came because that was the only thing that would solve the problem. He came as the Gift, the Gift that would live the life that you and I could never live, would die the death that we should’ve died; dying in our place; would rise again, conquering sin and death so that we would have life eternal, but not just life in the everlasting, but life right here, right now; every grace we would need to live as God has called for us to live, to face what we will face inside of ourselves and outside of ourselves.
Listen when you hear the word GRACE think the name JESUS because there is no grace apart from Jesus. There’s no grace apart from His person, His work, His presence.
This Christmas, have fun opening those gifts, smile at one another; celebrate the love of people who have given you things; have fun using those gifts but not forget the Gift that Christmas is about. It’s the one gift where the Giver was the Gift and that Gift has a name—JESUS.”
Stephanie Dale Paul
Stephanie serves as part of the Addiction Recovery Team at America’s Keswick as Director of Women of Character. She has been married for over 30 years to Sesky Paul who is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy. They have two grown children. Her single focus in ministry at Keswick is to image Christ in grace and truth to wounded and hurting women, encouraging them to make Jesus the truest Lover of their soul and the One in whom all hope lies.