In Defense of the Cost of Christmas

“Christmas has always been costly—from the very beginning, in fact.”

I relish everything of this season, knowing that even the person least aware of its deepest meaning is still being touched by the impact of the greatest fact of all: “God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son … whoever believes may have everlasting life!” (John 3:16)

That “greatest fact” is worth receiving as a reminder that Christmas’ celebration never need be argued against because “it costs so much.” Decorating and celebrating—giving and receiving gifts at this season—are not unworthy practices (as though “spending” at Christmas was merely “commercial”).

It’s not so, loved one. Never let yourself become snared in that cynical trap! Christmas has always been costly—from the very beginning, in fact. It cost Heaven everything! Bethlehem’s barnyard cradle wasn’t the only sacrifice. It was simply the original packaging for the treasure that Heaven’s heart was giving us. The Cross was the real price of Christmas, for it was wrapped in the Gift from the start—a Gift that was marvelously and mysteriously provided for and prepaid from before all time! (1 Peter 1:20; Revelation 13:8)

So it was, the Christmas Child came to us. And in light of appropriately evaluating that costly gift, everything in me wants to answer a call I hear the Spirit whispering this season. He’s summoning me—can you hear Him too? He’s calling us to “spend big” this season—to do so in a dynamic and holy way that answers to one of this season’s most common maxims: “Christmas is for children.” It’s a common sentiment, but join me in probing more deeply its meaning in the light of Heaven’s gift of the Child.

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Join me in “spending” whatever needs to be “laid out or laid down” for God to find in me another “child of Christmas.” I want the willingness of His only begotten Son—a willing readiness to go, to love, to serve, to give and to care for human need and brokenness—to be replicated in me.

Do you feel it with me? I believe you do … and accordingly, let me urge you to join me in this prayer reflecting a childlike response to the Father’s search for those who will “spend as He spent” for Christmas:

Father, I am Your child—created by Your hand, designed for delight and desirable destiny, and immensely loved and restored through Your Son Jesus, Your first Christmas Child.

Now, dear Father, I’m asking you to make me a child after Your own heart, this Christmas and beyond it. As I bow now, with humility and gratitude, and with the joy born in me which springs from your gift to us in Jesus, I pray: Help me pay the price of becoming truly childlike at Christ-like dimensions of trust and self-giving. Help me lay down my all, Lord, that the Child of Christmas be multiplied in me … and thereby You gain a harvest of children at this Christmastime, and for seasons to come.

Dear one, put your “Amen” on that prayer along with mine, would you? Let’s move into this season with the spirit of childlikeness, manifesting in ways that cause our Father and His Child, Jesus, to see the reward of their investment multiplied in us—the “children of Christmas.”

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Jack Hayford
Pastor Jack Hayford is the Founder and President of The King’s University and Founding Pastor of The Church On The Way, is internationally recognized as a “pastor to pastors.” Dr. Hayford is an acknowledged bridge-builder, helping to forge healthy bonds among all sectors of the Church, while growing believers to stability and leaders to increased effectiveness.