The Christmas Gift
For most, but not all, It’s a beautiful time of year full of joy and sparkle; it’s also a bit of a crazy time of year….
Did you know that in the UK at Christmas, the average person:
- Eats a total of 6 slices of turkey(308m nationwide), 8 potatoes and 8 sprouts (411m nationwide) as well as drink 4 glasses of champagne(205m nationwide)
- Kisses 1 person under the mistletoe– 51m nationwide
- Pulls 3 Christmas crackers, hearing 3 cheesy cracker jokes (154m nationwide)
- Watches 4 Christmas movies(205m nationwide)
- Listens to 9 Christmas songs (462m nationwide)
- Plays 2 board games (103m nationwide) – one of which will end in a row (that’s 51m arguments nationwide)
One in three under 35’s buy a new Christmas jumper every year
From Christmas jumper to goal keeping jumper. Despite all of the fond memories of Christmas as a kid, one slightly less joyful was when I was 11. I tried to look grateful for my new jersey that I received; the truth is, I wasn’t as happy as it seems. You see, for months leading up to Christmas, I had my heart set of a new top to play in – just not this one! Every week I would pop into my favourite shop in my home town – the sports shop and open the drawer to check my dream gift was still there, being kept for me! It was a goalie’s jumper, but it was blue, and to me it was blue and beautiful – not yellow and black, and I spent hours visualising myself saving penalties in it. So, when Christmas morning finally arrived and I started to unwrap what could only be ‘the jersey,’ you can imagine how exhilaration turned to devastation, when what was inside actually looked like that! I wish I could say that with unconditional love I responded with gratitude to what my parents had given me, but I was 11, my mind was made up and I didn’t.
I wonder if we treat the person of Jesusor the substance behind the story at Christmas the same?
Oh, we’ve seen the nativity, we know the narrative and have heard the story countless times, but based on what we have heard from others or tentatively experienced ourselves, do we view God’s gift to us on the first Christmas – Jesus, like I did when I unwrapped my goalkeeper’s jersey?
Is He more than enough or not enough? Looking at how most people in the world act, not just at Christmas time, but all year-round, He can’t be enough for them; or perhaps they / we just don’t truly know who he really is, why he came and what that means?
700 years before his birth the prophet Isaiah predicted the birth of Jesus – wow!
For a child is born to us,
a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His government and its peace
will never end.
Throughout scripture – God’s voice in print to us, Jesus is given at least 102 different names– one name by itself, simply not enough to describe all that He is and all that He is able to do.
Isn’t it interesting and amazing that wise men, Magi, or to some, 3 kings gave the first set of Christmas gifts recorded to the One whom scripture declares is the King of Ages, King of the Jews, King of saints and most importantly of all, The King of Kings.
Amazingly this year the average Brit will:
- Travel 92 miles delivering gifts – the ‘wise men’ apparently walked or took a camel, the 400 miles could have taken them up to a month!
- We will buy 22 different presents for 9 people– that’s over 1.1bn gifts for 462m people nationwide – the wise men brought 3 gifts between them for One man – the Son of man.
- We will also Spend £379 each on Christmas gifts each year- £19.5bn nationwide –the wise men brought seemingly strange gifts, but they were powerfully prophetic of whom the recipient was and why He came.
The wise men brought seemingly strange gifts, but they were powerfully prophetic of whom the recipient was and why He came.
Gold symbolising the royalty of Jesus; born in a stable, cave or room yes, but the King of heaven had come to earth – the amount supposedly given equates to over £73k.
Frankincense – likely cost – £280, the fragrance used by high priests to symbolise the atonement from sin, was given to Jesus because He came as the sinless one to exchange and remove our sin.
And Myrrh – this burial fragrance to remind that this new life in the form of a ba
by’s real purpose was to die (and raise again) to save the entire world.
We make a big deal of Christmas, they made a big deal of Jesus!
They gave 3 gifts to Him, but He offers 3 gifts to us:
- Father, Son, Spirit – 3 in one – that’s a great deal!
- Righteousness, peace and joy….and perhaps more relevantly in plain English
- Forgiveness from our past, freedom for our present and fulfilment for our future.
This Jesus who occupies more than half of the name of ‘Christmas,’ was sent as Christ in the crib to become Christ on the cross.
Christmas has no meaning without Easter and Easter has no power without Christmas.
The Saviour of the world had to be miraculously conceived, so that after being murderously crucified, He could be magnificently resurrected. All because He loved us – and He still does!
Perhaps, God’s gift to us – Jesus, like a Christmas present needs to be:
Received – no one leaves a gift still in the wrapping, you un-wrap to see what’s in there, so why not give Jesus a chance by beginning with him today?
Tried – Unless you receive a really naff gift, you always play with it, use it or wear it, the bible says to ‘put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the desires of your flesh.’ So will you actually wear Jesus? (walk with Him)
Shared – The final thing about this indescribable gift is that it’s for you because He loves and came and died for you, but not only you. Who doesn’t show other’s what they have received for Christmas? God is no respecter of persons and His invitation for real life is available to all and His chosen method for all to know that is the instruction for us to ‘pass him on.’
If you had the cure for a terrible disease in your possession, you would dispense to those that need it right? Well, everyone needs Jesus – so give him away because you still get to also keep him.
The greatest gift you can receive this Christmas is Jesus and the greatest gift you can give someone this Christmas is Jesus.
Have a great one!