God could’ve chosen an infinite number of grandiose ways to reveal Himself to us. He could’ve showered us with gifts from heaven, sent legions of angels to trumpet His love for us, but the one that God has chosen was the gift of His Son. It was so that through Jesus Christ we may be restored to our heavenly Father & enjoy a love relationship with Him. There’s no way that God was going to leave that great responsibility up to angels or physical gifts. It is because we are that precious to Him.
Although Christmas Day isn’t here yet, the time of gifts has already begun a long time ago when Jesus was born of a virgin. The world needs to open its eyes to the Gift that God has already given to humanity. If we embrace & accept this gift of God’s Son, He will inspire us to be more than we could ever be on our own. Because gifts that give a part of who we are have that tendency to move, touch and inspire others… Christ has given all of Himself.
Those who have been deeply impacted by the gift of God’s Son will move beyond the limits of his intellect, experience & even worldly influence to realm of grace, compassion & love. Therefore someone like Mother Teresa willingly entered the town of Calcutta, and worked with the poorest of the poor to bring dignity & the love of Christ to people to whom the concept of gift receiving has eluded them. Or Father Damien who lived on the Island of Molakai in the Kingdom of Hawaii for 16 years ministering to lepers. Although he eventually contracted leprosy & died, during his ministry he has introduced to the lepers the greatest gifts that Christ brings: love that renews our hearts & hope for future glory. All of which must take the center stage as we celebrate the birth of God’s only begotten Son.
As I ponder & pray about the imminent passing of Jeanette’s father… as I miss my wife & loved ones in the U.S., and as I struggle to prepare the Christmas Eve sermon, what brings understanding, hope & peace is the gift of God Himself freely given…
May the gift of Jesus Christ inspire all of us to hope more boldly, love sacrificially & to labor fearlessly for the time of gifts has begun.