Do you remember the favorite gift you received as a child? Maybe it was a present you had been wanting for a long while, or maybe even something better than you had hoped for. I recall several different things through the years, but none really stand out as a favorite. I do recall the anticipation of waiting to see what I got, but probably always hoped for an unexpected surprise that I had not asked for. One year I was surprised by a set of walkie-talkies, when I didn’t even know what they were. And what young boy can’t have fun with walkie-talkies? Was there a least-favorite gift you received also? Maybe something you got in place of something else you had hoped for, or another big let-down of some sort. Do you temper your expectations now, or do you still look forward to what may be under the tree for you?
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17
We get together with my wife’s family each year and do a gift exchange with a set dollar limit. You didn’t always know who got your name, but the gifts were usually chosen from a gift list you created on Amazon or other such place, so you had a pretty good idea what was in store. I think I enjoy the unexpected things even more sometimes. When trying to get gifts for everyone in your family, or at work, who is ‘supposed’ to get one, what motivates you the most? Do you just want to cross off everyone on the list with something that they will be happy with and be done, or do you really want to surprise them? Do you ever give a gift out of obligation because they always get a present (wanted or not) for you? Do you ever give gifts without ever expecting to get anything in return? What kind of reactions do you get?
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23
When we consider Christmas, it is difficult to get through the season without hearing somewhere about the birth of Christ. Though public Nativity scenes may not be as plentiful as they once were, they are still around. They are on cards and decorations and still in front of many churches and houses. Even if someone never sets foot in a church, they may still hear the story of the Birth of Christ on the radio or TV if they watch the Peanuts Christmas special or some other show. But for Christians, it is a reminder of the greatest gift we have ever received and how we can share that good news with others, who may or may not want to receive that same gift. We may share that message through letters and songs or just trying to bless others through a plate of home baked cookies. Regardless of how you try to share the love and Good News of Christ, continue to do so. And may you also find new ways to share the greatest gift that has ever been given to you and me.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:16-17
Yours in Christ,