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God’s ‘ultimate example’ and special Christmas message: It’s all about giving

Give, and it will be given to you.Luke 6:38

Special to WorldTribune.com

By Tim Hannigan, Fairfax Free Citizen

Two thousand and sixteen years ago, God set the ultimate example to humankind: he gave his Son to be born unceremoniously in an animal stable, to walk the countryside teaching the golden rule to mortals, and ultimately to die on a cross as redemption for all of our earthly sins.

givingOn the day we now call Christmas, God gave us Jesus Christ — the messiah whose teachings and example stressed the fundamental truth that all humans, regardless of origin, race, or any other temporal construct, are children of God. His revolutionary vision reshaped — for the better — not only the views of his followers but centuries of cultures and states around the globe.

Down through the years and across the continents, the tradition of giving presents as a way to celebrate Christmas Day has taken root among Christians and non-Christians, giving rise to festive and endlessly expanding consumer binges both online and at the shopping malls.

Of course, we must not let the exchange of gifts and material comforts overshadow celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ — God’s gift to humankind. And we must not forget to thank God for that saving gift that has opened up everlasting life for the God-fearing and virtuous.

But, along with being an occasion for rejoicing and offering thanks, Christmas provides the opportunity for us to ruminate on God’s supreme gift-giving example on this day so many centuries ago. Gospel writer Luke helps decode a possible message that God has for us:

Give, and it will be given to you. – Luke 6:38

Indeed, with the advancing of age, most people find that giving gifts to be as exciting and joyful as receiving them, if not more so. Inevitably, that feeling arises within most people, consciously or unconsciously, in the days leading to Christmas and the big day itself.

Maybe, just maybe, God wants his children to give of themselves to others throughout the entire year. Maybe God’s example on Christmas Day tells us to seek happiness and salvation by focusing not on ourselves but on the needs and wants of others. Maybe God’s giving his son to humankind is Christmas’ illuminating guidance for us to give more of ourselves.

Just a layman’s thought.

Have a Merry and giving Christmas!

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