The first impression that immediately comes to my mind at the word “gifts” is wrapped presents. At Christmas time, the idea of presents sets in motion a line of thoughts: first, the excitement of opening presents with family instilled into me as a child; next, what kinds of meaningful presents I can give to family and friends.
Although I want my gifts to be useful, I am not excited at going out and buying a small appliance, an article of clothing, or a decoration for the house. What I really want to do is give a special gift, something related to the loved one’s unique personality or interests, that speaks of our connection and my love for them. Many a November has been spent considering various homemade gift ideas, and this one is no exception.
Giving such ideal gifts is much harder than flying through the mall and doing all my Christmas shopping in one afternoon. So, many times I do opt for the easy way. But I prefer giving the gifts from the heart, the ones that cost me more in time, effort and thought.
The original Giver gives gifts from the heart. God didn’t just stop after he gave his children gifts of light, animals, plants, natural beauty, and all the wonders of this earth. He wanted to give more, to make it personal. He came close to people, walking and talking with them. He pursued them when they walked away, and set up various laws and constraints with the intention of protecting and caring for them from afar. The history of his involvement with a people who often rejected him fills the Old Testament narratives.
And that still wasn’t enough. In spite of their disinterest in him, God then came to live among them for over thirty years as a flesh-and-blood human being, Jesus. This was the only way to show them his true personality, so they could perfectly understand the depths of his love and tender care.
God’s gifts cost him dearly, and he did not take the easy way. His gift was the ideal gift, the perfect gift, a gift from the heart, tailor-made for his beloved.
No wonder we celebrate so joyfully at the occasion of Jesus’ birth!
Merry Christmas all!
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Well, after almost five years, I am taking a break from my monthly contribution to this blog, so this will be my last regular article. For now, I feel like I have said just about all I have to say about writing, and you may have noticed that I’m starting to repeat myself—ha ha! I do plan to submit a book review or other special post to this blog now and then, and to contribute my voice—online, in print, or both—writing about my faith and prayer. I am excited to see where God leads. A million thanks and blessings to all of you bloggers here, for all of your insight, support and faith-building posts!