The Best Gifts
Did you receive any special gifts this Christmas? I did. My friend Loraine’s thoughtful selection combined with her unique presentation, touched me deeply - three cute little gifts tied together by a pretty ribbon – looking too attractive to be opened. And when I finally did - I received much pleasure. My son’s gift of a music CD warmed my heart. My brother’s gift of chickens to a struggling family in our name gave us joy even as he helped and blessed a family in need.
My friend Vicki’s beautiful Calendar is one that will give me joy through the year. The pretty blouse I received from my husband is one I enjoy wearing. I’m looking forward to reading the book he gave me for Christmas. His gift of cash (he knows I love getting money) will go a long way. (Ooo! Nice!) Yes, I did get many special gifts this Christmas. And I hope you did too?
But you know, the best gifts I received were even better than these. As the 25th of December approached, the reason behind the season filled me as I dipped into and pondered over the Christmas story afresh. Hearing my Father’s whispers to me through His timeless Love Story was a priceless Gift and one of my best presents this year.
My husband surprised me with two beautiful heart-gifts. On a 40 degree day, he was pottering outside –I hadn’t a clue as to what he was up to. Later, I found out. He’d been washing my car. That took my breath away. Exactly what I needed. A gift which cost him much. And a gift I shall treasure always.
On Christmas Eve he gave me another heart-gift. Shan called me from the shopping centre just as I was leaving to do my weekly grocery shopping. He said there was no parking available. And so he waited (again in 40 degree heat) till I got there so I could use his parking space. The place was jam packed. There was no way I could have found a spot to park in. What a thoughtful, considerate man. And what a heartwarming Christmas gift!
At church I received a few more heart gifts. When we entered the church on Christmas morning, we found the doors covered with black paper and the lights were all off. The atmosphere was mysterious and alluring. There under the cross, waxed eloquent a beautiful shimmering display of lights – flickering candles; a myriad beautiful lamps lighting up the darkness. How beautiful it looked. It took my breath away. It reminded me of what we were celebrating. Or more to the point, THE PERSON whose arrival we were celebrating.
Jesus, the light of the world!
It was the most memorable and most joyful Christmas service I’d ever attended. My heart overflowed as we worshipped.
Christmas is also about family isn’t it? Often my son and I arrive at church at different times. So when my son got ready in time to come with me to church that day it was yet another prized heart gift. Remember that first Christmas family – Mary, her heart full, her eyes shining as she gazed at her beautiful baby son. Joseph, standing tall – proud of his family; protective of Mary and little Jesus. A family. We too are family. Not just those who bear our own name – but also every one of us of us in wider family of God. We are Family. Another Gift for us to enjoy.
After our Christmas service I delighted in many joyful wishes and hugs. One hug stood out. As I wished a new friend I’ve made this year, we hugged once. And then she reached out again and hugged me all over again. I felt warmed. I felt loved and appreciated.
That too is what Christmas is isn’t it? We are bound in Friendship to the One who made it all happen. And we are bound in friendship to each other, through Him who loved us. Finally on Christmas Night, after a beautiful day together, a walk under the stars holding my husband’s hand – was a perfect gift to end my day.
Yes, there were many heart gifts this Christmas. They were the best gifts of all. As I step into a brand New Year – I wonder what gifts I could offer to God and to my world. Who needs a gift from me today – one of those special heart gifts? A gift of a listening ear? A gift of love? A gift of time? A gift of prayer?
I don’t make New Year resolutions. Instead I make Goals and Aims for the New Year. I have many hopes for this one too bubbling merrily within. I know one gift I’d like to bless God with in 2013. Each year, I choose a theme to focus on. One year was my ‘Year of Rejoicing’. Last year was ‘The year of Loving’. My gift to God in 2013 is that I learn to worship Him And so, this year, 2013 will be dubbed ‘The year of Worship’. May praise and worship fill my days. And in all I do – may my God be glorified.
The best gifts of all are not those wrapped in shiny tinsel or expensive wrapping paper. They are ones that warm the Father heart of God. May our gifts to Him this New Year be ones He will delight in. May we reach out to help, to serve, to witness, to glorify, to enrich, to bless His world with the light of the glory of the gospel and the tender warmth of His Love.
After all, God’s Love for us, through Jesus is His Best Gift of All!