Saturday, November 27, 2004

The Perfect Gift

Yesterday I joined millions of other people in that time-honored tradition of insanity: the Day after Thanksgiving Sales. Now, I wasn’t one of those crazy people who camped outside of Best Buy at 4 a.m.; I slept in, enjoyed my morning coffee and read the newspaper before venturing out into the crowded Montgomery streets mid-morning.

One of my favorite parts of the Christmas season is finding just the right presents for the people on my shopping list. I try to pick items that the person has asked for, or that I suspect they will really like, the right size, their favorite color, etc. Isn’t that what we’re all looking for when we’re shopping for Christmas gifts? I don’t think that any of us looks at a potential gift thinking, “I hope they really enjoy returning this!”

I couldn’t help but think of Matthew 7:9-11 yesterday as I shopped: “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

I know it’s easy to say that Christmas has become commercialized, that all the frantic gift-shopping has caused us to lose the true meaning of Christmas. But think about it—wasn’t Christmas born out of (no pun intended) a gift that God gave us? Without the gift of Jesus coming to Earth as a baby, living as a man, and dying for our sins, there would be no celebration, no Christmas, no reason to rejoice.

It’s pretty awesome to me that not only did God give us the most precious gift of His Son, but that He also continues to shower gifts upon us. And these are not some last-minute, Christmas Eve desperation, Dollar Store gifts either. As Jesus said, if we messed-up, sinful humans know what gifts our children want and need, how much better does the omniscient God know and give us what we want and need? How quickly I forget that God really does know what I want and what I need, and that He is always acting in my best interests in a way that brings Him glory.

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