Freedom This Christmas

Last year, my wife and I decided we wouldn’t give our kids presents for Christmas. Before you protest, let me explain. We decided that rather than teach them to anticipate the coming of Christmas based on the presents they‘d receive, we’d teach them to preserve Christmas Day for the celebration of Jesus. So, we give them presents the weeks before and after Christmas, but all throughout, and especially on Christmas Day, we talk about Jesus. Additionally, we teach them that our giving doesn’t require a holiday. We should be generous all year long. 

I personally find myself getting sucked into the anticipation of material things as Christmas rolls around. It’s easy to look around at the sales and shoppers and want to buy my wife, kids, friends and myself lots of gifts around this time. Although gifts aren’t all, I can either teach my kids to anticipate handing me their Christmas list each year, or I can steer their zeal toward celebrating the only gift that brings genuine freedom. 

Filled With Anticipation

Each year, there’s such a worldwide anticipation for Christmas. It seems people everywhere dash through traffic, run up credit cards, smile at strangers and are even willing to put their kids on a total stranger’s lap if he’s fat, dressed in red and calls himself Santa. Weird. However, the greatest momentum for the anticipation of Christmas started in the Garden of Eden. 

After Adam and Eve had sinned, God walked in the garden and sought them out. Although He loved them, there had to be consequences for the sin they’d committed. To Adam a curse was given, and to Eve another, but to the serpent a prophecy was given that would keep man in anticipation for a coming Messiah. 

So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.
— Genesis 3:14-15 NIV

To Adam, Eve and the serpent, God prophesied the coming of His son for the freedom of man. Since then, in anticipation, prophets have prophesied of Him, martyrs have died for Him, a nation waits for Him, wise men seek Him, shepherds journey toward Him, angels worship Him and all creation longs for its coming freedom. [see Isaiah 9]

What’s The Deal?

It seems as though the whole world feels the weight of that same anticipation today, but with misappropriated affection. While shepherds sought salvation, we tend to seek sensation. While wise men sought a king, we turn our eyes toward earthly things.

Although there is so much to anticipate surrounding the Christmas holiday, Jesus is the only gift from God that brings healing, salvation, redemption, and ultimately, freedom. He is what your soul was made to anticipate. Jesus said it like this:

The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.
— Luke 4:18-19 NKJV

Jesus came to bring freedom. If you’re in a state of confusion, conflict, chaos, or crisis, there is freedom and it’s found in the person of Jesus. 

Samuel Rodriguez talked about freedom in his devotion entitled The Agenda Of The Spirit:

“The enemy understands that the most powerful human on the planet is a person set free by the blood of the Lamb. It was a free man who approached Pharaoh in Egypt and said, “Let my people go.” It was a free man who stepped into the Promised Land and declared “As for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord.” It was a free man who stared down a giant called Goliath and said, “You come against me with a sword, a spear and a javelin, but I come against you in the Name of the Lord God Almighty.””

Freedom makes you powerful when freedom comes from Jesus. 

Living In Freedom

It’s been said that we follow where we focus. If our focus is Jesus, we’ll follow Him into freedom. We don’t have to live in bondage, running to the things that only satisfy us temporarily. There is freedom. This freedom is what the whole world has truly anticipated since the garden of Eden. This freedom that arrived Christmas day over two-thousand years ago, is the same freedom that’s available today. I believe Christmas is really about a loving God sending freedom to the world in the form of His most prized possession: His Son.

Let your heart be filled with hope and anticipation for the freedom Jesus brought, and continues to bring to the world.