I hope you experience all that and more as you celebrate Christ’s birth.
But when we read The Magnificat, Mary’s Song of Praise after she learned that she was pregnant with the Messiah, we see a sober warning. She sings about God, “He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty” (Luke 1:53).
Throughout scripture, we see God’s judgment for those who make wealth and material possessions the focus, the means, the end. The trappings of greed and materialism are suddenly swept away. In the last days God empties wallets, bank accounts, and furnishings: “For in a single hour all this wealth has been laid waste” (Revelation 18:17).
This is a warning for those of us who have presents piled high under our trees.
Enjoy the presents. After all, God gives us all things to enjoy. Enjoy your stuff. But remember that He can send you away empty. It all can be taken away in a single hour.
Enjoy, but don’t love, the presents.
Love the Presence. Love what you can’t see. Love what money can’t buy and death can’t take away.
And remember that you have more than you need to help people in need. You’ve been blessed to be a blessing.
Be generous to someone in need this Christmas season. It’s one way to defeat greed and to worship Christ the newborn, present-day, and eternal King.