"Christmas Gift" my Grandad would say or whoever said it first on Christmas Eve. Sounds silly but it was a game my family has played on Christmas Eve ever since I can remember. I think it must have come from my grandparents because I can remember him yelling it loudly to me as soon as I saw him. Whoever said it first was owed a gift by the other person on Christmas day. Now that I'm older I remember it and we all try hard to get it out of our mouths fast enough to beat the other person. I know it's strange but it's fun and always gets a laugh or a sigh if you lose out. We never get a person a gift because we already have them one for Christmas!
Gifts are always fun to unwrap and the anticipation and joy of receiving a gift and seeing what it is, is what Christmas is all about right?!?! You don't have to feel guilty to say yes. I think it is. There are so many gifts out there to unwrap, sitting under the tree Christmas Eve with the lights from the tree dancing across the packages and the gifts shinning in delight to be taken. We are all children at heart and know how special it is to receive a gift. Gifts come in different shapes and packages and some are useful and some not so much. So I wanted to ask you this Christmas Eve what gift you most anticipate to unwrap tomorrow? Is it jewelry or clothes, a kitchen gadget, tool or great book? Is it something you will use tomorrow or put on a shelf that will soon be forgotten about? We all hope and expect gifts to satisfy and meet our needs but if we are truly honest with ourselves we would have to say that no gift has really met our full needs or satisfied us for more than a few minutes, hours or months. Can you even remember the gifts you received last year and where are they now?
Well, what if I told you the perfect gift really does exist and is waiting to be unwrapped? What if I told you there were closets and storage rooms of gifts waiting to be found and unwrapped? You see, this Christmas the perfect gift is right in front of you but it must be seen, anticipated, unwrapped and taken to be used and enjoyed. Because over two thousand years ago this gift came in a form least expected in a stable for animals in the least of all places by the least of all people for us in the form of a baby. Jesus is his name. Before you stop reading, and I know many will want to but just take a few seconds to allow this thought to sink into your mind. We are all looking for that gift that will satisfy but nothing EVER does. Think about it, we have closets of gifts all over our homes and we still look around thinking we need more or need another one.
We live in a world that does not stay new and clean and perfect but a world of struggle, brokenness, and constant failure. Try all you want but nothing on this earth stays in perfect condition. There is only one thing that does and that is found in God that came in the form of a human man to save us from this pile of trouble and messiness. The world offers its closets of goods, it's dazzling images of technology that change the minute we receive them, those new shoes that wear out, that kitchen coffee maker that breaks. They all attract us and entice us but disappoint in the end or should I say they bite us in the end.
BUT, there is a closet, a home full of gifts that do not disappoint, gifts that keep on giving and satisfy, bringing joy and satisfaction. They don't break or rust or fall apart. The Great Gift-Giver never runs out of money or time or love but is waiting, just waiting for us to sit under His version of the Christmas tree (His Son on the cross) and take what He died to give us. He loves to give good gifts to His children (Matthew 7:11 and Luke 11:13) and this very night He gave His best gift of all. Will you take it and unwrap it? Even if you are curious or even meet this thought with apprehension and disdain will you not just look at it and look into it? You see, the more you look at the baby the more you see the man and the more you see the man the more you see God.
So as you are enjoying the gifts and the food and the family just remember to take the gift the Father has put under the tree for you. And if you have already unwrapped that gift years ago, remember that that gift is to be opened daily because in it is a never ending well of joy for the taking.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23
Oh, how great are God's riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways!
For who can know the Lord's thoughts?
Who knows enough to give him advice?
And who has given him so much that he needs to pay it back?
For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory.
All glory to him forever! Amen.
But there is a great difference between Adam's sin and God's gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God's wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ.
So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.
New Living Translation