I'd be silly and sacreligious if I didn't state that Christ coming to earth was first and foremost our greatest Christmas gift. Even though we don't know, and most don't think, that he came to earth on that day, it's still good and right to celebrate the event. It should humble all of us to know that God came to earth and that we can celebrate the fact.
Yet, though this is the greatest gift, I want to talk about what has been my second greatest gift ever...period. It started a few days ago when Timothy asked me about Santa's Naughty List. Now, you may be disappointed in me for this, but I haven't gone out of my way to discredit Santa. He'll do it himself in a few years at the most, so I'm not worried. Anyway, Timothy asked me the other day how someone got onto Santa's naughty list. I made some really lame excuse because I've never even thought to ask that question myself.
Then I thought to add that when it comes to God and Jesus, everyone is on the naughty list. My son has learned through AWANA that Romans 3:23 is a fact, so I knew it wouldn't be a stretch for him. Unfortunately, I left the poor boy there spiritually. It was horribly awkward and I regretted doing that.
Fast forward a few days to Christmas Eve dinner at the Smith house. Alicia has fixed a wonderful dinner, everyone is eating, and Alicia starts the night's discussion on part of the Nativity Scene. The night before was Mary and Joseph, so Christmas Eve went to the shepherds. For some reason, and she doesn't know why, Alicia moved the conversation to a general discussion on why Jesus had to come to earth in the first place. Again, both of our kids have been at AWANA long enough to know why Jesus came to earth and what he did for us. We've never asked our kids to make a decision about it though because I wanted to make sure that they were old enough. I've heard of kids making the decision as young as my children are, but not many.
I heard from God last night though...and he told me to pursue my children spiritually. It was a simple order..."ask for a decision." At first I thought it was just for Timothy, but it wasn't. I was to do so for both kids. So I told Alicia after dinner and she agreed. I sat them down, went over a few verses that I knew they knew from AWANA, and built upon it with Romans 10:9 and II Corinthians 5:17. I kept it simple (my son has John 3:16 memorized after all).
Both of my children made emphatic claims for Christ on Christmas Eve. We laughed, nearly cried, and told them how the angels were celebrating. I'm so grateful to God for what happened last night. There's no way anyone has ever received a better gift. I'm just sure of it.
As a father, I've been hoping that my kids would trust Christ as their savior since I wanted to have kids. I've worried about it periodically as well. I am often fearful of sharing my faith anyway, and I don't want to screw it up with my kids. Yet last night I had no choice. The orders were clear...God was demanding my action.
The greatest Christmas gift was for all of humanity. The second greatest gift was for my family. I'm glad to share it with you. Merry Christmas!