Christmas Is About Giving The Best

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas is a few weeks away and everyone is making the mad dash to finish up all their gift buying for this year. The thought that is occupying most minds right now is "What should I get for my wife?" or "Which tie should I buy for dad this year" or "Should I get a gift for Aunt Edna this year, or should I just send a gift card?" I saw an episode of Seinfeld this weekend where Jerry's friend, George, was upset because his co-workers made a donation to a children's charity in his name as Christmas gifts. He thought that was a rather lazy, thoughtless gift to give. Then he got to thinking that maybe they were on to something, so he made up a charity and passed out cards stating that a sizable donation was made to the "World Fund" in their name. I think there are times we might be tempted to do something like that when we are feeling the stress of the season and just want to get it over with and get back to normal.

The above scenario is funny but disturbing because it is a glimpse into the reality of the human heart. Left to our own devices we want to give without becoming uncomfortable or inconvenienced. Stores are even capitalizing on this human tendency. The marketplace is set up to make the process as painless as possible and even reward you for going to all that trouble. You can purchase a buy-one-get-one-free item, keep one for yourself and give the freebie to your mother. That saves you a lot of time and effort and you get something out of it too.

I am so thankful that God doesn't give the way we do. He didn't give us leftovers or a freebie. He didn't spend five minutes looking for a gift. No, he gave us the most expensive, priceless and costly gift he could think of. The gift he gave cost him everything and he got nothing in return except the joy of knowing he gave himself. Yes, he gave himself by giving us his son, Jesus. There is a line in an old gospel song that says, "He gave his life. What more could he give?" God held nothing back for you and I and he sent the hosts of heavenly angels to earth to tell us about that gift, not to say, "Look what I did," but so that we wouldn't miss it.

In light of the gift that God gave to us, what should we give this Christmas? I think the best gift we can give is ourselves. Give the best of your time and energy. Give the best of your schedule and the best of your talents and abilities for his kingdom. Give the gift that costs you something. It's not easy to give, but it brings the most joy and you become like him in the process.

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