While handing out Christmas cards to friends in the community this week I was told, “Most people are only lovely at Christmas, but you are lovely all the time.” I was a bit tongue-tied as I wasn’t expecting a response like that when I was just passing through on my way home. I had those cards printed and signed for people in my life I wanted to bless with prayers of peace this season. I wasn’t really supposed to figure into their thoughts at all apart from them feeling loved and appreciated. Those words stopped me and turned my thoughts to the gifts we give people.
What if the best gift I could really give people is me? What if the best gift you could really give someone is you? These aren’t vulnerability questions. They are value questions.
What are you worth? You, with all your quirky likes and dislikes. You, with all the unique talents you possess that you don’t even think others would want to know about? Your smile. Your laughter. Your forgiveness. Your friendship. Your love. Your hospitality. Your handshake. Your kindness.
What are others worth to you? Him, with all his quirky likes and dislikes. Her, with all the unique talents she possesses. His smile. Her laughter. His forgiveness. Her friendship. His love. Her hospitality. His handshake. Her kindness.
Although I absolutely love the festiveness of the season we are in, those celebrations have very little to do with another event that lives in the depths of my soul. God gave us him.
“All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’).” (Matthew 1:22-23 … an explanation during Joseph’s inner turmoil about finding out about Mary’s pregnancy)
If I didn’t believe in Jesus I would still keep the Christmas traditions. We don’t exactly have too many feast & festivity dates on our calendar and I am convinced that we need them to help build healthy societies, even if they aren’t for spiritual purposes. I am also convinced that we could all do with at least a little of God with us, even at that moment when he seems so small and insignificant – a baby, a promise. The King of kings. Love incarnate. Prince of peace. Everlasting father. Saviour of the world. God with us … If there is any loveliness in me throughout the year it is because I walk with him and he makes me complete. I give you me because he gave me him. I took him up on the offer.
What gifts can we give that will last this year? What gifts will we recognise and accept from others?