Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas: It's all about me (and you)

I have a teen aged daughter. (Your prayers are welcome and your condolences are accepted.) I say this as a way of introducing the "It's all about me" subject of this post. I often acquiesce to her needs/wants/desires by using her favorite line--"It's all about you." In return, she often uses the "It's all about me" line as a part of her argument or justification for her immediate situation. In any case, the attached attitude is one that we generally associate with selfishness.

This Christmas, I want for each of you to consider being selfish.

Yeah, you read that right. I said that I want you to consider being selfish...just for the day. I'm not sure where the saying came from that says it's better to give than to receive, but I'm pretty sure that I never fully bought into the idea--not as a kid and not even as an adult. Oh I know that there are great blessings and good feelings that we get from giving (check out Rich's post on that), but I still like to receive. I've managed to be much more mature about the whole giving/receiving thing as I've grown older--but deep inside, I still like to receive.

If you've ever felt the same way--even a little bit--I've got great news for you: Christmas really is all about you!

It has always been God's plan that the birth of Jesus is for you. It has always been a part of God's knowledge that you would one day need a Savior, a Redeemer. It has always been that God loves each of us so much that He sent His son to buy our freedom, to pay our debt, to accept our punishment.

Having grown up in the Catholic Church and gone to Catholic school there was little doubt in my mind about who Jesus was (is). As a young adult, I knew that Jesus is the Son of God. I believed that His death was to pay the price for the sins of mankind and I believed that in His resurrection is our hope for everlasting life. This was the odd case of having the big picture and yet missing the detail of my world. You see, in the little picture of my world, Jesus comes for me. And in the detailed picture of your world, He comes for you. I had learned about the big picture and missed the most important detail--God loves me!

His birth; His death; His resurrection was for me.

Here is some more good news: God loves you, too.

And His birth; His death; His resurrection is for you.

Better to give than to receive? Not in this case. The best thing that you can do this Christmas season is accept the gift of God's great love. Receive His love. Hold it close. Know that He came for you.

I know that you will enjoy giving gifts over the next few days. I know that watching others receive your gifts will bring you joy. But I hope that somewhere deep inside, you will get a wonderful, warm feeling because this year you know that Christmas really is all about you!

Merry Christmas
John

"For unto you is born this day, in the City of David, a Savior which is Christ the Lord."
An angel to the shepherds near Bethlehem

4 comments:

Gooseberried said...

Seriously, it's hard not to get upset at things sometimes like when the guy I'm dating for example didn't even consider getting me a Christmas gift before he left for winter break, when I spent about a month thinking, buying and assembling his. When I gave it to him, "Oh wow. You went all out! Thanks!" and then, nothing for poor little me. It was so hard not to say something like, "Um, why didn't you get me anything!?"

Haha, selfish me.

Sicilian said...

John. . . . What a great post. I was raised a non going to church Catholic. I missed the big picture until I was 22.
If we don't do anything this Christmas, but reflect one moment about how much we are loved. . . . well my friend . . . we don't have any Christ in our Christmas.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

A well written post. Happy Christmas, John.

Bilbo said...

Merry Christmas, John! This is a great post with an utterly non-traditional look at Christmas. Maybe it is, really, all about me... but somehow, I still think it's really all about the children who haven't had the time and experience yet to let themselves be jaded by life. Nevertheless, thanks for offering a different those occasional selfish thoughts that creep in for all of us from time to time. And, as the father of a daughter who was once a teenager herself...yes, you have both my prayers and condolences. As well as the confirmation that, despite everything, it all works out well in the end! Best wishes to you and your family from Agnes and I!