Another year of gift giving and receiving going, going, gone down the drain. Time sure does fly. In a society hyped up on materialism, it’s hard not to consider the stuff–the gifts. I can’t imagine one person out there who celebrates Christmas that hasn’t had the frustration of finding the perfect gift. If I said it once I said it 10 times this year: “I don’t want to buy a gift just to buy something.” I shrink from the feeling of “having to buy”. That’s one of the frustrating sides of gift giving.
Another side are good-intentioned gifts–the ones of which we say, “It’s the thought that counts.” I’ve given them and I’ve received them. That’s all I’m going to say about that.
There are the very memorable, perfect-for-me gifts. Years ago for Christmas, Bob had me search the tree for my gift. It was a ring with a heart-shaped ruby and three diamond chips on the side that represented me and the girls. My mother’s ring. Then there are the hand-crafted gifts that I cherish from Mum. When I think of all of the time and love she spent on each cut, stitch, etc., it brings tears to my eyes. And it’s so fun to see what the girls will come up with. They’ve caught on to my love of writing and provide me beautiful books for journaling, pens, stickers, etc. They’ve also given me some of the most beautiful decor. My biggest problem is trying to remember who gave me what 🙂 .
Then there is the thrill of finding the perfect gift. Years ago I found tea cups and saucers that match my great-grandmother’s china set and purchased them for Mum. She cried when I gave them to her. My brother, eyes a little widened and jaw hanging a bit said, “How do you do that?”
I know Mum. I listened to her heart. Just like she listens to mine and spends hours of time and loads of materials making memories for me using her crafting skills. Just like my girls put pen and paper in my hands and beautiful, adorable, sometimes comical decorations on my table, island, shelves–anywhere and everywhere. Just like my husband hung his heart on the tree for me to find. They know me. I know them. It is our delight to bless one another with the exchanging of gifts.
You know what? None of this matters without Jesus, the One Who knows us better than we know ourselves. In fact, there is no Christmas without Christ. The unbelieving can slice this holiday any way they like, but there is no reason to celebrate without Jesus. Gifts wear out, don’t fit, rust, corrode, stain, fade, break, go out of style–they don’t last forever. In fact, I read a staggering statistic in a magazine that said the average gift loses its luster after 2 weeks. Two weeks!
But Jesus never loses His shine. He can’t, because He is the Light of the world. He knows my name. He knows where I live. He knows my heart’s desire and surrounds me with people who love me. Even without the packages and bows I am full to brim–no, I am spilling over in awe of the love He has for me. What other god would leave Heaven’s splendor to meet me where I am? What other god would be born for the sole purpose of dying to save an undeserving people? What other god would nail the sins and sorrows of man to His Holy Son and hang Him on a cross in order to deliver man from them all, all for the asking? What other god would live as a man in order to demonstrate to us how we can live like God and make a way for us to spend eternity in Heaven with Him? None.
The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save, He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17
Join me in taking time to listen closely this season to the song of Heaven. Your Creator Father is delighting in you and rejoicing over you with singing. Do you hear Him?