His Presence Is The Present

Today I’m thinking about Christmas gifts. Mostly because I’m nowhere close to done shopping, but regardless, that’s where my mind is today. Seven days until Christmas and I still have no idea what I’m even going to buy several people.

Christmas gifts are probably the least favorite part of Christmas for me.

Why do we give others Christmas gifts?

When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Matthew 2:10-11

If you aren’t familiar with the history of Jesus’ birth, this passage tells of the wise men (Magi) who followed the star to Jesus. They came bearing gifts.

Somehow, this incident seems to have inspired generations of people to celebrate Christ’s birth for centuries by giving gifts to other’s in their lives. We have managed to explain this tradition by stating that we are following the example set forth by the wise men.

I believe that Scripture is the inspired Word of God (2 Tim. 3:16). I believe that it is complete. I believe that we should not add nor take away from God’s Word (Rev. 22:18-19).

I’m not sure that I believe this ginormous gift exchange we participate in annually is scriptural or even done in remembrance of Christ’s birth.

Let’s look at the wise men. Why did the wise men bring gifts to Jesus?

The wise men traveled to see the Christ child (not infant) and worship Him. Their gifts could be seen as an outward expression of their worship. I’m not saying they were, just that they could be.

If that is the case, are we worshiping others when we give them Christmas gifts?

Some have stated that the wise men honored Jesus by bringing Him gifts. Do we bring honor to a family member when we give them a gift card to a favorite restaurant or store?

The wise men brought gifts to Jesus that had deep meaning. Gold…it symbolized royalty. Frankincense…was used to worship the king. Myrrh…a substance used for embalming…Jesus was born to die and be raised from the dead.

The wise men did bring gifts to Jesus. It was not on the day of Jesus’ birth. Jesus was most likely around the age of two when they arrived at his parents’ home…not at the manger. These gifts were not birthday gifts. They were not gifts meant as an ‘exchange’ like we participate in nowadays.

See, the wise men brought gifts, expensive gifts for their time, but no matter the earthly cost, no gift could ever repay the gift God gave when He sent His Son to be our sacrifice.

Christ is the gift. I can never repay that gift. When I spend time, energy, and often ridiculous amounts of money purchasing gifts to give to people who reciprocate in like, I am not living out the great commission. The people who need the Gift the most are those who will never be able to exchange gifts with me. They are the ones with whom I need to be reaching out to this Christmas season.

The only Gift I have worth giving is not really mine to give. His name is Jesus, and I am compelled to share Him with those who do not know.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

I have no gift to give you, except to offer you the gift of salvation which comes through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. This holiday, Christmas, that we are celebrating is really a remembrance and celebration of His birth. It has nothing to do with gifts, parties, dinners, trees, jolly fat men, or any other over-commercialized idea of Christmas. We do those things out of tradition, not out of religion or Christianity.

The truth is Jesus loves you. God loves you. God loves you so much that if you had been the only person on this Earth who needed a Savior He would have sent His Son just for you…He did send His Son just for you. How do I know? He did it for me.

I want to share the only real Gift this Christmas. Jesus is the Gift.
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photo credit: tyger_lylliehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/tyger_lyllie/77803887/”>tyger_lyllie
> via photopinhttp://photopin.com”>photopin> cchttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc>


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