Giving gifts has been an essential part of Christmas tradition for a long time. We even sing about it, and we’re not sure it can be sung any better than this!
As we approach the third Sunday of Advent, and Christmas in just eleven days, we want to focus on gifts. The Magi began the gift giving tradition, bringing some to the newborn king. Following their lead and bringing gifts to God during the Christmas season has been a tradition in the church for millennia. In our time, gifts abound for each other and, occasionally, we may donate more to the church or the missionaries we support; but it seems we have lost the joy of bringing a gift to the King.
Even considering this brings up one big issue. What do you give to someone who owns it all?
There are some things we can bring to the Christ-child become King of kings. They are all things that he has given us and, because of the free will we enjoy, are ours to use as we want. Consider giving these things to Jesus this season.
Time: Time is a gift given to all of us by God. Everyone has the same amount and we can use it just as we please, but giving God time is not as easy as it seems. Our lives are so busy that we leave ourselves no margin, and there’s just something wrong about keeping God in the margins. This Christmas, our gift to Jesus could be to bring him out of the margins of our lives and commit priority time to him.
One suggestion would be to pray daily for the nations. Operation World is a good investment to guide global prayer.
Ability: As with the opening song, The Little Drummer Boy, we can offer our abilities to God as a sacrifice of praise and worship. Some of these abilities are innate, gifted to us by God when he formed us; some of them, we have used God’s gift of time to develop. No matter what the origin, offering our skills and training to God is a wonderful gift.
How do we do that? One idea is volunteer to help those in need, or the organizations that help those in need. This is really a gift of both time and ability.
Heart: There is no greater gift to give to Jesus than to turn over our whole selves to him. Most people reading this post have decided to follow Jesus and have been adopted into his family, but there is a difference between following Jesus our Savior, and following Jesus our Lord. If Jesus is Lord of your life, he owns and controls all of it. The Apostle Paul described this as being a bond slave. A bond slave is one who was set free, but chose to remain and serve their master. This slave’s will is, in all ways, the master’s will.
The sign of this gift to Jesus is singular: complete and willing obedience.
James Taylor sings of this in his rendition of “In the Bleak Midwinter.”
Enjoy and Merry Christmas.