As I still have another gift to make and give, it got me thinking…
Regardless of your age, race or religious affiliation, its become standard for everyone to give and receive gifts at Christmas time. It’s a time for people to indulge on themselves and indulge on other people. Some kids may make wish lists, groups of friends might do a Secret Santa, bosses might give holiday bonuses to their employees. Such a great time of peace, joy, love and harmony.
All gifts have a different meaning. There are those gifts that are simply amazing, what “you’ve always wanted” (and you got it because you dropped hints about it every hour on the hour for the previous month and a half). From your boyfriends/girlfriends, you might get the gift that makes your heart just melt (possibly because of the giver, not necessarily the gift). From mere acquaintances, you’ll get the simple gifts, such as candy canes. We can’t forget the gifts from the people who don’t know you but are forced to give you something…like those distant relatives. Those are the gifts that before you even open it all the way, you start to re-wrap it and think about who to re-gift it to. And then there is your family. Majority of the time, they give you not necessarily what you want, but probably what you need. Like, seriously, I might be running low on socks, but is Christmas really the best time to get me some? But I can’t really complain, since my sister has been clothing me for the past 21 years, and she knows what I need. At times though, it can be a bit insulting. Like…a toothbrush, deodorant, membership to a gym – what are you trying to say? I mean, God bless them for being thoughtful, but somethings are just a bit blunt.
Throughout my life, I’ve had my share of all those types of gifts (except the boyfriend/girlfriend one, obviously). But only recently did I realize the most insulting gift ever. I mean, it took a huge shot at my pride, at my reputation, at my character. It basically made me feel completely worthless when I received it. You see, what happened was God gave me Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ? Insulting? What does that mean? In case you didn’t know, God is one of those people that know everything about you. He knows your “strengths” and He knows your weaknesses. He knows where you’ve been and where you’re going, and how you’re planning on getting there. Every aspect of your life, even the things you don’t truly understand, God knows and has the perfect explanation for it. And so God looked down and was thinking of giving me a gift. And He thought “He doesn’t need a car, or a camera, a wife, a job. In due time he might get that for himself, or someone else might get it for him. My desire is that he spends eternity with me, and from what I see, he is completely incapable of attaining that on his own merit. No matter what he does, it’s not good enough…above everything else, he is simply a sinner. SO, I will give him the perfect gift for his needs. I’ll give him my Son, Jesus Christ. No matter what he does, it just isn’t that great. What he needs is a Savior, because Lord knows he can’t save himself.”
WOW. How insulting is that? God told me I wasn’t good enough. He told me no matter what I try to do, it won’t buy my way into heaven. It doesn’t matter if I read the bible everyday, pray morning and night, give the gospel message to 3 people a week, tithe my 10%, donate to the poor, or any other good deed. It doesn’t matter if I live a good life. It will never be “good enough.” But praise God that I at least have another option.
God looks down from above and sees people who He desires to spend enternity. He desires to have us in His presence. But He knows that it just isn’t possible, because He is so holy, and we are such sinners. But because He cares more about our souls than our pride, He insulted us. Born in a manger, died on the cross. And only because of that can any of us claim to be saved.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
“For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.”
“That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”
It’s a gift. A rare type that we can “re-gift” it to others while still keeping it for ourselves. It’s not something we can earn (but rather our ‘good deeds’ come as a response). It’s simply grace. I’m so thankful that God loves me enough to insult me with His Son.