The Gift

I have very few memories of celebrating Christmas when I was growing up. Needless to say I wasn’t one of those children who received gifts on Christmas day.  Before you start feeling sorry for me, please realize that I think it was a cultural thing with my family.  I really didn’t miss the celebration or the gifts.  As I got older and had children of my own, Christmas and gift giving took personalities of their own.  When my two children were growing up, they loved Christmas and in our home it was a big production.  Not much have changed with them over the years.

Because of my upbringing I don’t get infected with the Christmas bug.  What I like about Christmas is the music and the message it’s supposed to embrace.  Yet commercialized Christmas seems to be about giving things and people expecting.  Every year the television commercials seem to start earlier.  People will camp for days before a store so they can save fifty or two hundred dollars.  When you account for the time they spent waiting, they would have done better buying on-line.  Christmas is the biggest commercial season of the year.  Then it all ends in one day.  The day after Christmas you can get better deals than black Friday.

Christmas is supposed to be about the greatest gift humanity has ever received in the person of Jesus Christ.  Yet as I do my shopping on Christmas eve (since that’s my tradition) I will be so stressed out I won’t be thinking about Jesus the gift, but more about what gift to get for people who already have too much.

I must admit that I am annoyed by the contemporary way we celebrate Christmas.  I wish I could fall asleep the day after thanksgiving and wake up December 27.

Yet somewhere in the midst of all the hoopla, there is a gift we are missing.  That gift is really you.  That’s right, you!! The birth of the savior was for you.  All of heaven celebrated that birth because you were gifted back to God.  God was God before the birth.  The universe existed before the birth.  You were doomed before the birth.  You, the precious gift of the universe was placed center stage because of the birth.  You, the gift, wrapped in the grace of God and presented priceless to a surprised universe and a smiling God

It doesn’t matter what kind of year you had, you’re still the gift.  It doesn’t matter whether you recognize it or not, you are still the gift.  Your wrapping doesn’t determine how precious you are. The one who is totally blown away by you is God who loves his gift as if it was the only one he ever received.  You are Jesus’ gift to God, to the universe.  You are the gift Jesus paid dearly for on a black Friday.  One day soon there will be the great unwrapping of you, the gift.  Your eyes will be opened and even you will be surprised how precious a gift you are.

In the midst of this crazy season, take a moment to appreciate what it took to make you such a priceless gift to the God of the universe.

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