Christmas is Here.. It’s sad how it all plays out.. Yes, that time of year we lavish gifts of extravagance and wants upon those we love, or feel obligated to buy for.. Sometimes we give for sure joy. Other times we give because we feel it’s our duty. We will wrap our gifts in various packaging, making the seams and creases tight. We will adorn the gift with a card, bow, or maybe both and present it to the intended party..
The frenzy of giving, ripping and tearing open of gifts soon parts and we are left with a mess.. Paper, trash, ribbons, stuffing, and torn boxes litter the floor. For a moment each gift is cherished, a warm thought of the person that gave it to us may melt our heart, maybe a tear for the love that was poured out as we feel its weight upon our heart.
But a lot of the time… We are critics. Really! By our nature, and what we have grown up with, we are first and foremost critics. We judge not only the gift, it’s worth and value, but also the giver. Thoughts go like this, “Did they spend as much on me as I did on them?” “They can afford to do more than me.” “They just bought me something out of obligation!”
Sometimes our hearts break as we fall short of being able to buy that which would most express our love, gratitude or thanks.. “I wished I could have gotten them something more.” “I really wanted to get you something else, but couldn’t..” And our hearts sink. We feel our gifts don’t match up. We are out done. We have failed in comparison, been weighted on the scale of status quo and have been found wanting.
The thing about giving is we are restricted. We never have enough to buy all we want for others. We usually can’t give that which is most wanted and asked for. We will try, and sometimes will achieve our gift goals, and yet even those best gifts end up in the back of the closet, in a storage room, or some may even make it to the trash before summer hits. The newness has worn off. The lust, glamour, and sparkle of something new has already caught our eye and we leave behind what we thought was precious once.
It’s sad how it all plays out. We judge the gift and the giver. We receive so much, yet most is unneeded. We place value and worth on the amount spent, and what is “in” for this year. How to often are we unaware of the giver? How often are we caught up with just the love? And too often it’s the cheap, unwanted gifts that gets ignored, or pushed aside. This is our world. This is how we live today. But it has always been this way.
This is nothing new…
It’s the free gift we most ignore. It’s the free gift the world has always despised. We have put no worth on that which is freely given and have no esteem for it. We honor, cherish, that which is rare and hard to get, that few can posses. Yet the most valuable gift one has ever received is free, “the free gift of God, which is eternal life,” yet few have found that which is available to all.”
Maybe because the price that was paid was paid by one that the world despised and rejected, so the costly gift has lost it’s sparkle and shine thru the dull eyes of human greed. “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” Isaiah 53:3
The gift we have been given wasn’t cheap. It was costly. But if the worth is never known, the value never shown, the gift never cherished or treasured, then it never will have meaning or worth to those who see it.
This Great Gift came to us, wrapped not in a box with a pretty bow, but wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger. This gift of Grace, which was given first to Mary and Joseph, is the greatest gift man has ever received, the gift of love, joy, peace, kindness, and mercy. Wrapped snuggled in it’s packaging for that special time when the gift would be presented for the whole mankind. On that night the gift was being given in love, yet was taken by force. On that night, when love should have felt it’s weight in the hearts of all around, only the kiss of betrayal was given. It was this Holy night, that the Gift of God should have been embraced was shackled and dragged. It was on this Holy Night the gift of eternal life was to be torn open. The gift of Grace was RIPPED apart, laid bare on the floor, put away, despised and rejected. Where mercy and forgiveness was most given, the most brutal force was used to counter act it. Blood and water came forth, and so, Grace and Mercy flowed like a river swollen with the winter snow..
Oh, what a Gift. “He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.” (Isaiah 53:2)
The greatest gift came in a barren package. No paper or ribbon to adorn it. There was no bow on this gift to be taken off. A Crown of Thorns Adorned the present like a ribbon. No care was taken for the gift that was given.
Even today, we are critics of the gifts. Do we see the worth of the Gift? Do we feel the love of the Giver? Has the weight of it all been felt on our hearts? “For God so loved the world, He gave His only Begotten Son.” “Here in is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His only Son to be atoning sacrifice for our sins.” “For it is by grace you have been saved.. it is a gift of God.”
If the worth is never known, the value never shown, the gift never cherished or treasured, then it never will have meaning or worth to those who see it.
This Christmas, open the greatest gift that can be given. Receive it not with judgment or doubt, but with a heartfelt embrace that was intended for you to receive, the love, joy, peace, kindness, and mercy you have longed for. This is my Christmas Wish for you and your family. This is the Gift I can give Freely that will never fail or grow old. This is the gift of Life. Eternal Life. This is Love…