A Wonderful Christmastime

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages He might show the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”- Ephesians 2:6-7

I read something startling this week about the Christmas season that had me shaking my head in disbelief. It wasn’t the amount of money Costco, Target, or Walmart brings in during the holidays. It wasn’t the average amount of debt people take on buying presents. It wasn’t the hike in electricity usage in our city due to everyone’s Christmas lights. It wasn’t even the rising temperatures that have this December feeling more like a summer month. No, my merry astonishment had to do with a Christmas song. Many of us would be familiar with the song from former Beatles lead singer, Paul McCartney, entitled “Wonderful Christmastime”. Well, it was not the tune from this catchy Christmas song that got my attention, but the “cha-ching” he keeps receiving from his jingle. It was reported back in a 2010 article in Forbes Magazine that Paul McCartney receives an estimated $500,000 in annual royalties for this song that has played on the airwaves every December since 1979! In the words of that great philosopher, Uncle Eddie (from Christmas Vacation), “Clark, that’s the gift that keeps on giving the whole year!

As I think about the residuals that keep on rolling in for this song, I am joyfully and humbly reminded of the incomparable, imperishable, and immeasurable riches that we have received in Christ Jesus! Those who God inspired to write the Scriptures convey different expressions of awe when it comes to the abundance of God’s perfect love with each one speaking to something that is far greater than anything ever pursued, purchased, or possessed in this world.

II Corinthians 9:15- “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.”

James 1:17- “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Romans 5:15- “But the gift is not like the trespass. For if many died by the trespass of one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!

For many the Christmas season centers around GIFTS, but I believe we must move beyond allowing the material expressions found under the tree to be what delivers us joy and fullness. Don’t get me wrong, it is meaningful to receive gifts from loved ones/friends and it is an appropriate expression/symbolism as we remember the gift of God’s Son given to the world. However, the reality with Christmas gifts is that they break easily, lose value gradually, are lost quickly, and replaced eventually. That’s what makes God’s gift so much better than an iPhone, video game, new outfit, or even $500,000. The gift of Jesus stands apart and stands forever! My prayer is that in your heart and home you would truly experience a Wonderful Christmastime because of the love He has poured out to deliver peace, light, and salvation. It is gift that has greater value than even the royalties Paul McCartney receives, one that will have us singing a heavenly tune for all eternity!

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