In just a few hours Christmas trees around the world will be surrounded by gaily wrapped packages of all shapes and sizes. Each of those gifts will have names on them, showing to whom and from whom they are given.
But most likely, one name will be missing from those to whom gifts are being given — Jesus, even though it is His birth we are celebrating.
True, there is nothing that can be wrapped in a package that Jesus needs or wants. Or is there?
The only thing Jesus wants is for us to love Him, to trust Him, to serve Him. That all comes from within ourselves, in our hearts and souls. But those hearts and souls are already wrapped in the package we call our body. Some bodies are tall, some are short, some are thin, some are fat, some are beautiful to behold and others aren’t given a second glance by most people. But whatever the size and shape of our body, it is the package God Himself created for us (Jeremiah 1:5). And we can give it back to Him in a way that is more beautiful than any gift that will be under a Christmas tree.
We can give Him a body that is pure and spotless, whiter than snow. When David said that, he was not referring to the color of our skin, (after all, God created all of those, too!) but the condition of our heart.
We can give Him eyes that are not blinded by the lusts of the world, but are quick to see the needs of those around us. Some of those needs might require a financial assist, but others can be met by a kind word, a shoulder to lean on, a listening ear or any of those other gifts than have no price tag attached.
The same is true with our ears, ears that have not been dulled by the clanging of the commercials saying that our Christmas cannot be complete without that particular product, no matter how costly and useless it might be. Instead those ears are open to hear the crying of a Baby lying in a manger so many years ago, the loneliness of someone sitting in a nursing home, the painful moan of someone lying in a hospital bed, the whimper of a hurting animal longing to be someone’s beloved pet, the gentle sobs of someone who needs comforting for any number of reasons.
Our hands can be outstretched for a number of reasons — to hurt or to help, to push down or to lift up, to give or to receive. The choice is ours. But over the years I have learned that the more I help, the more I lift others up, the more I give — the more I receive. Not all gifts are ones that are wrapped in pretty paper after the price tag is removed. The most wonderful gifts are those that the Lord says He will give, and they have no price tag attached, for no amount of money can ever buy love, joy or peace.
Our feet can take us down many paths as we travel through life, but we all have the choice of which paths we will follow. Will we choose the path that might look all glittery and sparkly, but will ultimately lead to our own destruction, or will we choose the path that may look plain and uninteresting, but leads to countless opportunities to be blessed as we help others, in turn serving our Lord.
Our back holds all of these body parts together, in a manner of speaking. Our back supports our shoulders, which can be offered to those who need a place to lean, even for a moment, whether they are hurting, needing comfort or are just plain old tired and need a place to rest. Attached to our shoulders are our arms, which can also offer those same supports, same comforts, same source of strength.
At the lower end of our back are our hips and legs, which can make life easier for so many people. We can bend down to listen to the gentle whisper of someone confined to a wheelchair or hospital bed. We can stoop down to hug a child. We can stretch to help someone reach a box off a high shelf. We can walk the distance, short or long, to help someone who cannot take those steps. We can do so many things that we take for granted, unless our legs are taken from us.
At the top of everything is our head, which shelters our eyes, our ears AND our mouth. Out of our mouth can come words of comfort, encouragement, love, cheer, thanksgiving and praise, or words meant to belittle, embarrass or even hurt.
There are still a few hours before we celebrate Christmas this year, and we still have time to prepare our gift for the Lord. Will the gift that you give to our Lord Jesus Christ on His birthday be the best that you have to offer, will it be an afterthought . . . or no gift at all?