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Why Do We Give Gifts
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 Charles R. Bryant

Matthew 2:11- And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary, his mother, and fell down and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Why do we give gifts to one another at this season of the year? Why is it that we are more generous at Christmas than at any other time of the year? Why are our hearts and purses more open to others? It may be that the example of the wise men, who brought their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the young child, inspires us to share.

A deeper answer to our question, however, is that in the coming of Christ we catch a vision of the God who loves and gives to man. Christmas and all that it represents to Christians has its origin not in human customs and traditions, but in the act of God the Father. It was he who gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

The words of the angelic chorus, Glory to God in the highest, carries us to the heart of the Christian message. We tend to stress the thought of peace among men in this song because we desperately need peace, both within our own lives and among the nations; but without God the giver, there is no peace.

God took the first step in bringing peace to the earth when he entered our own life as the babe in the manger. At Christmas, therefore, we praise Him even as the angels who sang, Glory to God in the highest.

In our thoughtfulness of one another at this season of the year, we are praising God. If we do not pause to recognize this as the motive and inner meaning of Christmas giving, we miss the true joy that belongs to it.

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E-mail: charlesbryant@gbronline.com