What is the greatest Christmas gift you have given? What’s the greatest you have received? The answer to both of those questions is easy for me. The greatest gift I have given and the greatest gift I have received came the same year. It was Christmas of 1970. I gave my high school sweetheart an engagement ring. She gave me her heart!
Ever thought about the greatest gift God has given? He has given us a lot.
- The gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:28; 5:32).
- The gift of righteousness [being right with God] (Romans 5:17).
- The gift of eternal Life (Romans 6:23).
- The gift of salvation (Ephesians 2:8).
- The gift of grace (Ephesians 4:7).
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights” (James 1:17), but the greatest of them all is the indescribable gift of God’s Son, Jesus (2 Corinthians 9:15).
For just a minute, indulge me. Let’s—respectfully—make four comparisons between God giving us Jesus and the joy of our exchanging Christmas gifts.
Comparison #1 — THE THOUGHT
I’m sure you’ve heard someone say, “It’s the thought that counts”? It really is. When you open a Christmas gift and you see that someone thought about your needs, your wishes and your tastes, it makes a lasting impression.
In comparison, a whole lot of thought went into God giving us the indescribable gift of his Son. He planned to give us this gift “before the foundation of the world”
(Ephesians 1:4). Try wrapping your mind around that! I can’t, but it sure makes me feel special.
Comparison #2 — THE GIFT-WRAPPING
One year for Christmas my sweet wife gift-wrapped every present in brown paper—you know, the kind that looks like old grocery sacks. No, contrary to what you’re thinking, it was pretty. She garnished each with red ribbons, green ribbons and matching bows. (They all had to have a bow. They still do. Don’t ask me why!!!) Today, she likes to put most of our gifts inside beautifully-designed sacks with colored tissue paper. It’s easier but just as lovely.
In comparison, God carefully gift-wrapped the indescribable gift of his Son was. A body was “prepared” for him (Hebrews 10:5), a body that allowed deity to experience humanity (Matthew 1:23; 1 Timothy 3:15).
Comparison #3 — THE LOVE
Christmas is all about the love that brings us together. We share meals together, pray together, laugh together. We talk, dream, reflect and laugh a lot more! The older I get the more I understand what it means to say, “All I want for Christmas is your presence” (note: the spelling is not presents).
In comparison, God’s love is behind the indescribable gift of his Son. Remember those familiar words, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16, KJV; cf. 1 John 4:10)?
Comparison #4 — THE GRATITUDE
Some families have everyone open all of their gifts at the same time. Some open one present at a time. Some open gifts on Christmas eve and, then, wake up to see what Santa Clause brought. (I still like to leave cookies by the fire place.) However it’s done, when the last gift has been received…WOW! There are hugs, words of appreciation and love, pictures and another wonderful year of awesome memories.
In comparison, when we think about God giving us the indescribable gift of his Son, we should also be moved to respond with words of gratitude and praise (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16; Hebrews 13:15).
This really is “the most wonderful time of the year.” But, with Jesus, every day of every month of every season can be wonderful and unique in its own way. Amen?!