Obligation and Peace- Christmas

Obligations and Peace

This 2006 Christmas season has not been as joyful as hoped. I have done most of my shopping out of obligation or viewed it as a task. My brain tells me that I am supposed to give because I want to but I have been so busy that shopping and giving has just been another task.

Today while in church I realized that my giving was all "self-focused", what I had to do. Why do we give anyway? A gift is symbolic of a relationship, caring for another. In many traditions gift giving is a sign of favor or of re-establishing a broken relationship. Until today, I had totally missed out on that joy of focusing on others, not myself.


The Christmas story in Luke 2 has the angels appearing to the shepherds, a truly undeserving bunch. Shepherds were the lowest status of society in Biblical times. Their reputation was so bad that they were not allowed to testify in a court case.

The angel announced to the shepherds in Luke 2:14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rest."

God came to shepherds to announce His gift. God's gift is His son whom He has given reconciling the relationship between God and man. I am reminded that my gift giving is to be out of love, not obligation. My gift giving is to build relationship, not just honor some tradition.

In God's gift we have peace, peace between God and man.

God's son is a gift. Just as we must choose to receive a gift given to us at Christmas time, we must choose to receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Just because God gave it, does not mean it is ours. We have to reach out and receive it. Have you received Christ this season?

Merry Christmas

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