Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The Seventh Commandment

"You shall not steal."

Without planning it (but God had it planned), we come to the Seventh Commandment just before Christmas.  There is a definite connection between this commandment and Christmas.  What do you think it is?  What makes the Seventh Commandment the Christmas Commandment?

The answer in a word: giving.

Only on the surface is the Seventh Commandment about not stealing.  At its heart it's about giving - the opposite of stealing.  (In the same way, the Sixth Commandment is, on the surface, about not committing adultery.  Deeper down it's really about a loving marriage.)  And 'tis the season for giving!  The giving of gifts!

Christmas gift-giving (the perfect keeping of the Seventh Commandment) has its origin in God's gift of His beloved Son!  Christ is the First Christmas Present from which all others take their cue.

Why is it that we wrap our gifts?  Because Mary wrapped her son in swaddling cloths and laid Him in a manger (Luke 2:7).  And why do we lay them under a tree?  Because God's Gift would grow up to give Himself upon the tree of the cross.

The Father gives the Son.  The Son gives Himself.  The Father and Son give the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit gives faith, hope, and love.

And then that love gives us selfless, generous, and merciful hearts.  Eyes to see the need.  And ears to hear in the Seventh Commandment an invitation to give like God.