Gift of love

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Only three Christmas shopping days left until it all comes to a screeching halt at 6 p.m. in most stores.

I cannot tell you how that pleases me. First of all; I hate to shop, and secondly, I hate it even more when people are running about like it’s the absolute last day in their lives to shop.

Why do they do that? Oh, I’m sure it’s in search of the perfect gift for Aunt Sue or Cousin Bill, but do you even remember what you got for Christmas last year? We spend so much of the holiday trying to please others, but once the colorful paper, tissue and ribbons adorn the living room floor, what’s it all about?

I don’t intend to sound like Scrooge, but it’s certainly not about Christmas. Not the Christmas that we followers of Christ should be celebrating. Why do we give gifts to each other? It makes no sense at all. Take a moment and ponder the question; what did I do to deserve a gift on the birthday of the Christ child?

As for me, I’ve done absolutely nothing worthy of taking the honor that should go to Jesus.

Those Magi had it right. They took the Christ Child frankincense, gold, and myrrh as their gifts to the one they knew to be the king. The shepherds from Bethlehem’s fields also recognized that this child they’d been led to was the one who deserved their adoration and honor. Had they any gifts to give, I figure they would have given gifts the infant Christ – not to each other.

What gift could we possibly give Jesus? After all; he has it all. But, there is a gift that He covets and treasures; your devotion and love for Him. And, guess what? Neither would cost anyone a cent. Why you couldn’t even put it on your credit card!

Nope! All that he asks of us is to give Him our love and our lives.

Now, keeping in mind that this is written toward those who are believers, may I also state that in return for the cherished gift of your love, God in turn will give you more than your wildest imagination could conjure up. As mere mortals, our minds cannot conceive the gifts God has in store for those who are his. And, it’s all there… a free, no strings attached, gift to us. All we have to do is believe and he will return our gift of love for him in &uot;presents&uot; we could never receive from another human. He will also bless us with his &uot;presence.&uot;

Again, I don’t mean to say, &uot;Bah! Humbug,&uot; because I love to receive a token of someone’s love in the form of a gift. How much more so does our heavenly father love receiving the token of our love?

Take time this Christmas to recall the true meaning of the holiday that bears the name of our Lord. If you are a Christian, why not sit down with your family, especially those with children, and read Matthew and Luke’s accounts of the birth of the Christ child. It could be the finest gift you will ever give to your family.

May you have a Christmas filled with peace and love.