Thursday, December 6, 2018

The Costliest Christmas Gift Is Free



Recently, I came across this photo of my son opening a gift on his second Christmas. I love how this snapshot captures how much  he enjoyed the unwrapping perhaps even more than the gift itself.

The next year, his Christmas gift came in a big box. After opening it, he ignored the gift and  played contentedly for hours crawling through that box, pushing it around, and sitting in it until he exhausted himself and fell asleep in it. In those early years, an empty box would have been gift enough.

Now, he has five children of his own. His two youngest will graduate from high in the spring. I don't think any of them would appreciate an empty box this year! They've grown up.

As we approach Christmas, we often get so caught up with decorating the tree, baking goodies for our Christmas celebrations, and the difficult task of finding just the right gifts for friends and family that we forget the real reason for  the season--God's Gift to us of His Son, Jesus. Emmanuel, God with us!

God's Gift didn't come in any fancy wrapping paper. No, He was wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger where spotless, newborn lambs were prepared for the Temple sacrifices.

God couldn't go to a mall to find just the right gift. He gave Himself that we might have everlasting life.  

God's Gift didn't come in any fancy wrapping paper. No, He was wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger where spotless, newborn lambs were prepared for the Temple sacrifices.

God couldn't go to a mall to find just the right gift. He gave Himself that we might have everlasting life. All the money in the world couldn't pay for such a costly Gift as the one God freely gives to us.

The only caroling that Christmas was the angels singing to the shepherds out on a cold hillside watching sheep at night under the stars, inviting them to come and worship.

And the only traveling that Christmas was not in jetliners or cars, but on camels' backs as the Wise Men followed a star  to come and worship the Christ Child.

There was no gaily decorated tree--only a shadow of a rugged cross, for He came to die to save His people from their sins.

No bells rang out the joyful news, but in the streets of Bethlehem, the shepherds proclaimed His birth to all who would listen.

The only baby shower was Herod's slaughter of all the innocent babies in Bethlehem, but God warned Joseph to  take the young child and his mother and flee before the soldiers arrived.

Courtesy Google.com

How sad God's heart must feel to see His children more enthralled with the wrappings and traditions of the season than with His most precious Gift itself! This Christmas, let's not be like toddlers who are more interested in the wrappings of a gift. Instead, let's keep our focus on the Gift--Jesus. Let's  give ourselves to Him in worship and be His hands and His feet in this sorrowful world.

"Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!" (2 Corinthians 9:15).