Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
During this month of December, we think a lot about gifts. Giving gifts. Receiving gifts. Having to shop for gifts. How elaborate do you get? Over the years, what gifts do you most remember?
Interestingly, it is not always the large purchases that bring back the best memories. Oh sure, I remember the one Christmas where my whole Christmas from my mom and dad was a VCR. Yes, kids, a VCR. My parents were always very generous at Christmas, and they almost felt guilty that I only was getting the one gift. But the gift was expensive and what I really wanted. So that does stand out. But many other years, it was the least expensive gifts that I got the most use out of. I played a hand-held football game for years. Books that were just stocking stuffers brought me great joy. Our boys have enjoyed many great gifts over the years, but the one thing that we still have and use is 13-year-old Fisher-Price basketball hoop in our basement. It was probably about $29.95 when purchased, but it has gotten a lot of play for the price.
What gifts do you remember? For many of us, it is the simple ones. The ones that didn’t stand out while unwrapping but provided the most usefulness over the years. You ever watch kids? We think we need to shower them with the latest and the greatest. Give them a cardboard box and they can have great fun. I saved the box from our fridge when we moved 15 years ago. The kids loved it. When it would no longer stand up, we folded it down and used it for a sliding baseball game in our basement. The boys are great sliders on the baseball field even today because of that simple piece of cardboard.
The wonderful gift that we celebrate at this time of year is also very simple. The wrapping was not glitter or gold but swaddling clothes. While Jesus came inexpensively – no labor or hospital charges – what He brought was the most expensive gift the world has ever seen. He laid down His life for the sins of the world. That same baby in the swaddling clothes would someday be wrapped in linens and placed in a tomb. The resurrection would signify an eternal gift that awaits all who believe in Jesus as Savior.
This gift will be remembered for all time. This gift lives on. This gift is your gift. Cherish it as you worship Him this month.