We have a tradition of giving one another gifts during Christmas, and this is not a bad thing. We all love receiving presents, and it is a way of making the season more joyful. However, it’s more customary to give the person whose birthday we are celebrating a gift, rather than everybody else attending the party. So, how about we give Christ a birthday gift this Christmas?
The question, however, is: “What do you give the creator of the universe as a gift?” I cannot think of anything that would please him more than the gift of love. It is the only thing he asks of us: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’” (Luke 10:27a).
And how do we love God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind? By giving them to him! Let us gift wrap ourselves on Christmas Day and tell Jesus that our heart, mind, body, and soul are his and only his. When we do this, we are essentially promising him that we will walk in holiness and obedience to his will.
I know some of us are daunted by the thought that we will not be able to keep up to our promise, but let us never forget that salvation is God’s work, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in us will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). God wants to see the sincerity of our desire, and he will help us accomplish the rest.
For those who want to get lavish with the gift-giving, we can also tell him we’ll try to fulfill the other thing God asks of us: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Luke 10:27b). This might seem more daunting than loving God, but truthfully speaking, we can’t do one without the other.
As John bluntly puts it: “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister” (1 John 4:20-21).
So, there you have it. As there won’t be any Lessons in the Wilderness over the weekend, let me wish you and your loved ones a very Happy Christmas! May the love of God fill your hearts on this beautiful day.
And may the Spirit be with you.