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Monday, December 21, 2009

Receiving Gifts John 3:16

In my book, this year has rolled around quite quickly and we are now on the final countdown to Christmas. The shopping is finished, the cookies are baked, the trees and house are decorated, we are ready for Christmas! I truly find so much joy in this holiday-so it's very easy for me to get caught up in the material side of Christmas. I enjoy shopping and buying gifts for family, friends and loved ones. I enjoy giving gifts and donating food for can drives and clothes for shelters. However, even though a lot of what I do during the Christmas season is focused on giving gifts, when I really think about the real meaning of Christmas, I see that I'm missing the point. I'm not saying that I shouldn't be doing these things...it's great to give and to receive.

Let me elaborate...Picture yourself, traveling far, many miles to see someone you loved. It could be a family member, spouse, child, grandparent (set the story up for yourself). You purchased expensive airfare, even paid extra for baggage, because you, YOU, were bringing the most precious gift to them. After days of travel and exhaustion, you pushed on and finally you arrive! When you arrive at your destination, no one is there waiting for you, so you catch a taxi, and continue on, so excited to see your loved one and share with them this most valuable thing. When you arrive to their house, no one is waiting for you, you knock several times and finally someone opens the door. They are on the phone, busy getting ready to leave. They briefly wave Hi and carry on about their business. Feeling a bit confused and anxious you open the suitcase, hoping that this will draw some attention to you, for you traveled far, you paid a high price to make this trip, to deliver this gift, yet...it's beginning to seem you are unappreciated. As you bring out the gift in the most awesome of wrappings and bows. You give it to your loved one and they casually rip off the beautiful paper, open the box and say "That's nice, you shouldn't have", and placed it in the closet-only to be forgotten about. Aside from the fact that you paid a high price to bring this gift, another reason for your travel and sacrifice is to spend time with your loved one. Yet, they seem to be inconvenienced by your presence. Let us not forget that not only did God send his son to save us, He also desires for us to make to make time for Him. Let's not be like the uninterested family member in this story and discard God's gift of Salvation. We need to remember that a huge price was paid for our sins and with that we need to set time aside from our busy schedules to meet with God, show appreciation through scripture, service and worship.

As we countdown the days to Christmas, I want to take time to thank God for sending His son and show appreciation for the gift He sent. I hope too that you find time to joyously make room in your life for this relationship-not only at Christmas, but throughout the year!

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