Reflections on the Gift

a-partridge-in-a-pear-tree-346541A partridge in a pear tree? Seriously? Well, I like pears alright I guess, but with my horticultural skills I know a pear tree will not survive long in my care. And a partridge? Only as long as it takes to stuff and eat it. And that goes for the four calling birds, the three French hens, and the two turtle doves, too. How about a gift I can’t consume or kill? Something that won’t tarnish, break, deteriorate, or be carried off by a thief (what’s gold going for these days?).

Despite the obsessive overtones of holiday shopping and Madison Avenue madness to the contrary, we all know the true reason for the season. Regardless of how Christmas has been secularized, commercialized, and mythologized (read my polemic against the Big Guy here), we can’t deny that a Baby in a manger somewhere started it all. And even though consumable, perishable, and obsolete-able gifts have value, we all recognize a deep-seated yearning for something eternal.

Funny thing is, there are eternal gifts offered to everyone every day of the year, not just at Christmas, but many folks turn their noses up at them. Thanks, but no thanks; that’s not on my list. Really? Peace…wisdom…power. You don’t want those things?

As we begin this month of all Christmas, all the time, I want to take the opportunity afforded by the season to explore all the immaterial but so incredibly more valuable gifts that are ours when we receive the Gift that is Jesus. They’re so great that they can’t accurately be quantified, but if there are 12 Days of Christmas perhaps I can summarize them into 12 Gifts of Christ. The biggie…the coup de grace under the tree…is a blissful, pain-free, joyful, eternal existence with God in Heaven. I’ll save that for last.

All of these gifts come as a package deal when we believe in and submit to Christ as Savior and Lord, though we may unwrap them at different times, or fail to notice them at first. I hope you’ll join me in the coming days in exploring and appreciating their infinite worth.