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Making Special Gifts Personal
By: Dr. Skip Myers
posted December 10, 2007
COLUMNIST – Merry Christmas! Let me
share with you some interesting Christmas facts. Did you know that
Alabama was the first state to recognize Christmas as an official
holiday? Visa Cards are used an average of 5,340 times each minute
during the Christmas season. An estimated 400,000 people become sick
each year from eating tainted Christmas leftovers. (If the turkey gets
green, throw it out!) The abbreviation of Xmas for Christmas is not
irreligious. The first letter of the word Christ in Greek is chi, which
is identical to our X. Xmas was originally an ecclesiastical
abbreviation that was used in tables and charts. These are just a few
interesting facts to begin your Christmas week.
Now, let’s get back to our series on Luke 2:10-12. Let’s face it as
much as we want to be openly spiritual about Christmas we have to admit
that the little kid in all of us still loves to get the presents. Do
you catch yourself looking under the tree? I bet you aren’t looking to
see what gifts the other members of the family have with their names on
them. You are scoping out the ones with your name on them. You
carefully assess each package for shape, weigh, and “shakeability.” You
read the tag to see whose name is listed beside the word From. Your
mind carefully processes all this information and you come up with a
guess. Now if you get good enough at this your family may try to
disguise the package by adding weights or jars with popcorn seeds in
them to throw you off the scent. But don’t be fooled.
Each year we look for that one special gift given to us by that one
special person. We all have someone who knows and loves us and their
gift is always a reflection of their love. Our eyes light up when we
see it and we remember its location under the tree. Our imagination
runs wild with all the possibilities. Based on how this person feels
about us we may not know what the gift is but we know it is going to be
The angel relieved the shepherds’ fear and announced that God was
bringing to them a message of “good news of great joy which will be for
all the people.” God was doing something that would tell the world just
how special it was to Him. No more fear of condemnation or judgment.
But what kind of gift would God give to a world in so much need? Could
it be a source of eternal food or a way to experience world peace? All
they knew was that is God was the Giver, it had to be something special.
“For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior,
who is Christ the Lord.” The gift was a Savior. But just not any
Savior—He was to be THE Savior, the Anointed One who was the Lord
Himself. No cheap imitation—no knock-off or bargain Savior. God was
giving to us who He was so that we could be who He intended us to be.
Jesus was given for us as the ultimate expression of God’s love. No
greater gift can be given than the giving of ones self to others. God
gave so that we can be. All we have to do is receive the gift as
personally as it was given. Jesus is that special gift we look
for each year. It was given by that special person who loves us more
than we will ever know but not more than we can experience.
Maybe your Christmas tree is looking bare this year and it doesn’t look
like that special someone is going to come through with what you were
really hoping to get. The Good News is that God has already gotten you
a very special gift. It comes straight from His heart and is exactly
what you were hoping for—a way to become the you He always intended you
to be. What He offers through Christmas is a relationship with Him that
allows you to recapture the reality of His love in your life. You can’t
get a gift that is more personal and you can’t receive one from someone
more in love with you.
Stop shaking the gifts under the tree. The gift that really matters
contains a simple invitation for you to accept what has already been
given for you. I bet you never imagined that God would love you so much
that He would give His only Son so that you could be reunited with Him!
Some call it a miracle, we call it Christmas! Share the gift with your
family this year.
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