Monday, December 5, 2011
THE PERFECT GIFT
We can buy what we think is the perfect gift for that special someone in our lives, but it won’t compare to the priceless gift of our Savior Jesus Christ. The magi brought extremely valuable gifts to the Baby Jesus. They sensed that here lay Someone worth far more than what they gave. What can we bring our Savior, the priceless, perfect One, except our love and obedience, our heartfelt thanks and praise, and our compelling desire to share the Good News of His birth, death, and resurrection?
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
They’re endless. Write and send the annual Christmas letter. Shop for the perfect gifts. Wrap the gifts. Find the perfect tree. Trim the tree. Hang the stockings. Practice for the pageant. Prepare the special meal. Open the gifts. Dress for the pageant. Perform without stumbling. Entertain family and friends. Collapse.
The details vary from family to family. For some, it’s the matter of preparing for a trip. For others, it’s finding ways to survive the pain of loss. For most, it’s going through the steps listed above. Regardless, we can get lost in the Christmas details.
The good news is that God is in the details. His details have eternal meaning. His details for Christmas began in the Garden of Eden where He prophesied the coming of Christ the Savior. Throughout the Old Testament, we find thousands of details God reveals about Christmas. “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14) Chapter 9 of Isaiah also tells us about Jesus, the holy Child—the names He will be called, the purpose of His coming to earth.
Other books of prophecy add to God’s details. And they all culminate in those given in the Gospels about the birth of Jesus. Every detail had significance: Mary’s virgin birth, her visit to her cousin Elizabeth who was about to give birth to John the Baptist, and the glorious experience of the shepherds who heard angels praising God and telling them to go to the stable to worship Jesus. They tell about the brilliant star that led three wise men to the same stable, the dreams God gave Joseph about the baby and about leaving Bethlehem to seek safety in Egypt, and the subsequent dream about returning to Nazareth where Jesus grew up.
Yes, God is in the details. Our man-made details, however, are mere add-ons of little consequence. We gain a clearer perspective of Christmas when we focus on God’s details rather than our own. Christmas is about giving—giving of ourselves to God for His glory first before we give to our family and friends. It’s about relaxing in His presence instead of hurrying to fulfill all the details we add—many unnecessarily—to make Christmas “real.” Rather than being lost in the Christmas details of our making, we can find Christ in God’s details.
Lord, give us a clear perspective of the true meaning of Christmas. Help us focus on Your details about Jesus’ birth rather than on our own. In Jesus’ name, amen.