The desire to give gifts during the Christmas season can leave me with a list that keeps getting longer as I think of one more person I’d like to buy a present for. But have you ever had someone give you a gift when you didn’t have anything for him or her? It can bring a bit of embarrassment to be left holding a lovely gift without being able to reciprocate.
Last year a sweet friend gave me an interactive kid-friendly “What God Wants for Christmas” box, an object lesson with a story book to go along. The premise of it is to share with children how God gives us many gifts as they open surprise boxes with nativity characters in each. Then the story book asks, “What does God want for Christmas?” The last box has a mirror showing the face of the one looking in the box, which is exactly what God wants – you and me.
The gift made me think about giving something to Jesus for Christmas. After all, it is His birthday. What present would He desire?
And I prayed this prayer last year as I recorded it in my 2009 journal:
Lord, I know I would like to give You a present at Christmas. What could it be that You desire? You have no needs for You are complete in Yourself, the I AM, the self-existant One. What do I have that You have not given me already? You own it all, and You own me. I am twice owned. First I was made by Your hand, so says Psalm 139. Second, I was purchased by Your blood as recorded in 1 Peter 1:18, 19. What can I give to You?
A song came to mind, a song my one and only son, Travis, sang when he was just a wee boy, written by Timothy Matthews in 1876. It goes like this:
You did leave Your throne and Your Kingly crown when You came to the earth for me.
But in Bethlehem there was found no room for the holy family.
O come to my heart, Lord Jesus! There is room in my heart for You.
Leslie Leyland Fields wrote:
Let the stable still astonish; straw-dirt floor, dull eyes, dusty flanks of donkeys, oxen; crumbling, crooked wall; no bed to carry that pain, and then the child, rag-wrapped, laid to cry in a trough.
Who would have chosen this? Who would have said: “Yes, Let the God of all the Heavens and earth be born here, in this place”?
Who but the same God Who stands in the darker, fouler rooms of our hearts and says, “Yes, let the God of Heaven and earth be born here – in this place.”
And I pray this prayer today and for the coming new year:
Oh Lord Jesus, there is room in my heart for You, all of it. I withhold nothing from You. Anything I may have closed tightly and locked away; rooms that are cluttered and closets that reek of sin; hidden hurts and bags of burdens, I give it to You. Not much of a present, I think. But it is what You want. Foul and dark and unlovely as it is, so unworthy of Your glorious presence, I open it completely to You. Fill it up to the full with the wonder of Your person, and transform its meanness to be a holy sanctuary.
Your daughter, Amen
Please let me know what you can give to Jesus for His birthday. I love reading your comments.
My gift to Jesus, was and is always to let my light so shine that others might see that light, and come to find thier way to him. He is the light of this world and when he brings that light to us, he helps us see our way thru this worlds darkness. It’s like the cande lighting service the other nite at church. One lite, then another, and another,and another until the church was a glow with light, erasing all darkness. Thats my gift to continue to light my small corner of this dark world. Happy New Year. Your post always lifts my spirit. Keep it up, every days been good I look forward to it like a quick daily devotion.
His light shines brightly in you, Elaine. Bless you, dear friend.
I believe that when someone gives you a gift for which you have not reciprocated is a great lesson in the humility it takes to receive. A lot of people have a really hard time with that because of their pride. It is the very foundation of the problem people have with Jesus. We fight the idea that someone completely innocent had to shed their blood and die for our sins. To top it off, it is a gift and there is nothing you can do to earn it.
The reasoning behind a priest in the tabernacle who could not allow any flesh to show was for that very reason. It was not simply for modesty’s sake, but another way of God showing us that no effort of our flesh contributed to that lamb being sacrificed on our behalf.
Deep thoughts, Teri. You have a good point about us receiving the gift Jesus offers.