Editors note: For the month of December, our theme is “The Gift of Jesus” and our focus verses are found in Luke 2:10-14. “but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior – yes, the Messiah, the Lord- has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger. Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others – the armies of heaven – praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
What a wonderful time of year this is! What makes this time of year special for you? It might be being with family and friends. Maybe it’s the decorating, food eating and gift buying that brings you joy. What about Jesus? Does He have a place in your life during this season?
Let’s talk about gifts. Gifts are exciting! All the pretty wrappings and the suspense of what is hidden beneath those wrappings. We have all heard and probably sang the classic song “The Twelve Days of Christmas”. Someone tried to add up how much it would cost to give the gifts named in this song. The grand total came to about $15,000! It seems we get all tied up in the busyness of the season and we forget about the simplicity.
Christmas, a wonderful story and a gentle reminder of the true meaning. It is about the gifts. However, it is not about the gifts that can be purchased with a credit or debit card.
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is GIVEN, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. “ Isaiah 9:6
The real message is not the gifts we give each other but the gifts God has given to each of us. His gifts are the only ones that keep on giving. Let’s look at 4 things:
1. God’s gift to us was a total surprise. Who would have imagined that Jesus would be willing to leave perfection to come into a sinful world and in human form?
2. God’s gift came to us in humble wrappings. He wasn’t born in a palace. We all have been taught that He was born in a stable. The reality is He was born in a cave. This cave was a cave where lambs were born to be used for religious sacrifices. The lambs had to be perfect, it was mandatory that they were unblemished. Therefore, they were wrapped in rags to prevent blemishes. We know ultimately Jesus became our sacrificial lamb, which will become another gift in the future. Just as the lambs were wrapped, Jesus was wrapped in cloths or rags and laid in a feeding trough.
3. We don’t deserve this gift. We usually give gifts to those we love and care about. We don’t usually give gifts to those that have been unkind to us. Yet, God still gave us His Son as a gift, because of love, even though the human race had become an enemy of his. They broke religious laws. To top it off,Jesus was already rejected even before his birth when there was no room in the Inn. (Luke 2:7)
4. The gift tells us something about the giver. Just as we think ahead and plan what we want to give to others, God did the same for us. Through Jesus, our gift, He gave us an opportunity at eternal life. However, we first have to accept the gift. Then we must unwrap that gift. What are you going to do with the gift after you unwrap it? Push it to the side and think about it later or start utilizing it and discover everything it has to offer? If we choose to utilize it we will discover that not only is Jesus THE gift but He also brought other gifts with Him. He brought peace, hope, forgiveness, healing and purpose. He also brought a new way to live and see, a joy that can’t be taken and a way to relate to others. He brought so much more that we are still trying to unwrap it all.
It’s not about the gifts that will be under your tree. These gifts are temporary and will be gone one day. Life is about knowing the God who made you and gave you the greatest gift you will ever receive. His gift is eternal and will never wear out. His gift always fits and you never have to return it. Most importantly, His gifts are worth more than $15,000, they are priceless. Jesus is THE greatest gift of all.
We would like to thank Kathy Jones for writing this blog post.