As Christmas approaches and I think about shopping for family and friends, what gifts shall I buy for all of them? What do they want?
Then I think, more importantly, what do they need? What they need is the greatest gift ever given. It is the gift that the heavenly host proclaimed to the shepherds: “For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11. This King who left His throne in heaven to be a little baby, to come and live, and then die, all for our sake.
This is the gift we all need, the gift given in love. It’s not a gift we earned or were entitled to, which is what makes it the best gift of all. Unlike the gifts that Santa brings, it is not predicated on being on the “nice” list. We do not forfeit this gift because we are on the “naughty” list. In fact, in reality we are all on the “naughty” list but God loves us nonetheless. As Paul wrote, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8.
We need not give anything in return; we can just accept the gift. But somehow, just accepting this loving gift of our Creator, the gift of Himself, creates in the heart a desire to give something in return. Of course, there is nothing God needs from us. So what can we possibly give? The best gift we can give to God is ourselves and our devotion to telling others of His greatest gift.
Over the past week or so I have been listening to a lot of Christmas carols. I just love O Holy Night and What Child Is This? and O Come O Come Immanuel and Silent Night and so many others that sing the praises of this wonderful gift of Jesus, the Word made flesh. They make me smile and cry tears of joy all at the same time.
This greatest gift of all has been offered to everyone, and that includes you! Have you received it yet? It truly is the most precious gift you will ever receive.