We are fast approaching the time of year when gifts are on our mind. Ever since we can remember people have spent time shopping for just the right gift for just the right person for a day that is supposed to be one of the year’s most special. Sometimes we can almost forget who this special day is really for. While it is true that in replaying this day in history we probably recall that the kings who traveled so far came with the best gifts that they had. They knew that this was not a regular baby for which any old gift would do; this was a king who deserved the very best and so they brought what in their days were special gifts.
What do we think about in today’s world as we shop? Are we tired of the rush and the extra time it takes? And also just how much shall we spend; how important are these particular people to us? It really does seem strange that we give gifts to one another and expect our friends to do the same when it is our birthday. Do we try to give the baby Jesus something that makes a difference, both in our lives and in His? Actually are we really celebrating His birthday or simply using it as an excuse to impress our friends and family with our creativity?
It makes me sad to think that the Lord who gave me life is just another guest at the table to enjoy the fancy, once a year food and that even though we say “thank you” we really are just interested in finding out how good the cook did this year and also if we will get whatever new item we yearn to have. You could wonder how we ever got to this point and what we might be willing to do if we thought we had to ride a camel a goodly distance just to see a baby.
I am not trying to make you feel guilty anymore than I am making myself. I have been so very blessed and I often wonder what else I could do or be. He not only gave me life, He gave me tools to make the best of the life He gave. I know that I have not spent enough time thanking Him or even trying to consider what He created me for. Maybe this is a good reason to celebrate this holiday; it gives us the time to reflect on our responsibilities and be thankful that we know we have a future in a wonderful place.
But for now, this day, what should I be doing? Maybe this is my day for reflecting on my life and the Lord’s intent for it. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). That includes me, doesn’t it? And I know I probably haven’t accomplished all I was meant to do. Is it possible for me to make all the many corrections that I need to make? I know the Lord never intended us to be perfect people; He gave his life to cover the discrepancies because He loves us. That makes for a very big IOU.
Friends, life is not easy and never will be this side of Heaven, but I know that whatever it takes there is nothing I want more than to one day see and hear the voice of my Lord saying – Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord (Matthew 25:21).
As we approach the end of this year with the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Saviour, may we all once again offer Him the very best that we have. He has already given us the talents and the opportunities to fulfill our purpose in His world. Hopefully we will be able to smile as we offer Him an acceptable gift.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men (Luke 2:14).