Well it’s that time of year again – lots of hustle and bustle to get the tree trimmed, the presents bought and wrapped, cookies made. Whew! But wait – it’s also the time when people are more aware of those who may not get a gift, who may not have any food, let alone Christmas cookies. What about those who can’t give anything back in return? What about those that think they do not deserve a gift – that they are not “good” enough? Have you ever given anything to someone who wasn’t expecting a gift and see the look of surprise and then joy on their faces?
That’s what it’s all about – to bless someone even if they are not expecting it or think they “deserve” it. Isn’t that what Jesus did? While people were still sinners, He blessed them by dying on the cross. Isn’t that what He still does? He gives, protects us, helps and provides for us – even though we may not deserve it. Like every good Daddy, he forgives us as soon as we ask – He welcomes us back in His arms when we stray far away from Him.
That’s what love is about. Giving when you haven’t received and when you don’t expect anything in return. That’s when giving blesses the giver more than the receiver because that’s when we are more like Jesus. Giving can turn a cold heart into a warm one. Giving changes the stony heart into a soft one. Givers have learned the secret of joy, for true joy is giving to others. Isn’t that what Jesus did long ago – and still does today?
I seem to remember a commercial from a long time ago that said – the gift that keeps on giving. Well it may be true for that product, but the real, beautiful gift that surpasses all others is the gift of life that Jesus gave to everyone who will receive it. He gave the gift because of love for us.
A gift we give out of duty may be okay, but a gift we give out of love is the best gift of all. My husband Bill once wrote in a card to me how he loved to see my eyes sparkle as I watched our children and then grandchildren open their gifts. It’s because of love. Jesus’ eyes must sparkle as we also receive His gift of love – just for us.
Giving a gift can be a sacrifice. How much more so did Jesus sacrifice to give His gift to us. As we give gifts this Christmas, let’s just not give because of the date – let’s give out of love. It’s the secret of joy.
Lo the angels came to say
Christ was born on earth this day
He didn’t come as a King
But came to suffer for our sin
He came to teach us love, His grace
So we can look upon His face
Eternal life we would receive
If only we would believe
The magic of Christmas is Christ. May His love and grace fill you always. Merry Christmas!