Begin your 25-day Advent Devotional with Dr. Graham today!
I love almost everything about Christmas. Then I heard about the “Christmas Creep.” Now, before your imagination runs wild, you should know that Christmas Creep isn’t a person. It’s actually a merchandising phenomenon that tracks the start of the Christmas shopping season.
For years, “Black Friday” was the start of the Christmas season. But no more. You probably have seen Christmas-related merchandise at your locals stores since mid-October.
It stands to reason that the longer the Christmas season, the greater our opportunities to spend money. Call it the Cost of Christmas.
But there are other Costs of Christmas, bills no credit cards can cover.
Mary, pregnant and unwed, heard the buzz of the small-town gossips and saw the uncertainty in the eyes of Joseph, her betrothed. And he wrestled with the thought that Mary had been unfaithful to him.
An angel brought Joseph the assurance he needed, but he still had to take his very pregnant wife on a 70-mile journey to Bethlehem, where she delivered a son in a stable, “because there was no place for them in the inn.”
The shepherds who heard the host of angles announce the birth of the Savior abandoned their flocks and set off for Bethlehem, risking their livelihood “to see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”
The mysterious wisemen, who still play a prominent part in every Christmas pageant, saw something in a particular star and followed it over hundreds of miles of desert to see the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
But it was that baby boy, born in Bethlehem centuries ago, who bore the true Cost of Christmas. He came from heaven to spend a few decades among us. And then Jesus took on all the sins of this sinful world and died for us, a cost we could never pay on our own.
By reading these devotionals I will send you every day until Christmas, I pray you’ll discover the true Cost of Christmas. On Christmas Day, when we’re surrounded by family, the tree lighted and the gifts scattered around the living room, give thanks to the One who gave Himself for you.
He is the greatest gift. This gift is eternal. This gift brings true peace on Earth. This gift heals our wounds. This gift doesn’t fade, break, or tarnish. This gift is for the whole world.
But unlike the Christmas Tree, the lights, the decorations, the gifts, and the food, this gift is free. This gift brings us forgiveness of our sins. He paid the ultimate price, but this gift is free to us, if we only believe.
(To obtain a free copy of “The Cost of Christmas,” a 25-day advent devotional go to jackgraham.org, call 800-414-7693, or request it online at firstname.lastname@example.org.)