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Making Special Gifts Personal

By: Dr. Skip Myers
web 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 something special.

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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