Tuesday, December 8, 2015

THE PERFECT GIFT

There was a time in my life when I dreaded shopping for the perfect gift at this time of the year.  I would carefully listen during conversations leading up to the holidays--and even sometimes months in advance for hints of something which would delight my loved ones.  I kept careful lists and when the holiday season arrived shop for that which I knew would please and delight.  The dread came from those who seemed to never express a need or want and seemed to have it all.  I would spend hours hunting for the "perfect gift".



Times are a changing--and my gift giving along with it.  I still delight in giving the little ones their heart's desire, but have found the gift of green to bring smiles to my big ones.  Internet shopping and shipping to my door has made this time of the year much easier. I still always make a foray into the retail mecca of Christmas shopping-just to enjoy the ambiance and remember I am under no crisis of unfulfilled wants.   It can be quite delightful to sip a warm drink while eating a Christmas cookie as the shoppers whirl by on a frantic mission to complete their annual gift pilgrimage.




While thinking over the annual Christmas gift giving frenzy, I reflected back to the first Christmas gifts.  Gold, Frankincense and myrrh were brought by the Three Wise Men--kings from afar.  As I have spent time reading and pondering---WHY? these three items, I came away with one certainty---they were very valuable. While we are not even sure if there were three kings (assumed because of three gifts), scholars have a plethera of theories as to the symbolism of the three expensive gifts.  As I read all the theories, I came away with one fact---rich men gave rich gifts to the new born king, but they also worshiped Him while giving the gifts. 




Contrast this to the shepherds--who seemed to have come empty handed.  Shepherds were not on the top of the economic heap during the time of Jesus, and since they came straight from the fields probably had no more than a lamb at best to offer.  Yet they came straight away--they came and worshiped the New Born King.  They left their fields--compelled to see this wonder of all wonders---the Messiah promised long ago.  Their gift was their presence and their worship as they stood in awe of God's fulfillment of His Word---The Word Made Flesh.

Yes, the rich men came and brought rich gifts---but was that any better than the poor man bringing himself and offering his praise with no gift?  I think not--in fact I think more of the gift of the poor man--the gift of their time and presence on that first Christmas night.  Their need to see for themselves what the heavenly angels had proclaimed and then to fall on their knees in wonder and awe.

All to say---do not become overly consumed with finding the perfect gift--the perfect gift is the offering of yourself--in some form or fashion--the giving of your time, talent, and attention is always the most wonderful gift.  What gift can you give Jesus---the One who has it all---the gift of yourself.


 11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Matthew 2:11


5 comments:

  1. When I was but a little boy I asked my mom for a bicycle helmet for Christmas. I didn't have a bicycle at the time, but I always liked to plan ahead; and to protect my head. It's all child psychology, you see. My father used to hit me on the head with a psychology book entitled "Practical Child Psychology". Anyway, for Christmas mom bought me a saucepan. She said I could wear it on my head when she was not cooking with it. I looked silly later on when on holidays we hired some bikes for a hike. She'd forgotten to wash the pan and I had sauce all over my face.

    Anyway Lulu ... imagine ... just imagine ... If you were visiting Baby Jesus in the stable right now, what gift would you take? Check out the internet and all the goodies in the shops. What would you take? Would you go empty-handed like the shepherds? With all those sheep around them the least they could have done is knit Him a pullover to keep Him warm. Or buy one ready made from Amazon.

    God bless.

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    1. Poor, Victor- the only person I know more put upon than even Charlie Brown!

      We would want to give Jesus the thing we value most, Victor. And for most of us that would be ourselves- for what is man's greatest sin- putting hisself on God's throne. It would follow to hand out very being to Him would be our greatest gift-and it comes with no price tag attached.
      Blessings, Friend!

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  2. mmm ... another's steady, loving, attentive, affirming presence in our lives is the most superb offering. And it's a rare gift indeed, sadly ...

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    Replies
    1. Yes--Linda--we would give everything--except ourselves!
      Blessings, Friend!

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Your comments keep my writing and often cause me to think. A written form of a hug or a pat on the back and an occasional slap into reality---I treasure them all!