Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Gift

It's almost Christmas, and like it or not, one of the first things most people think of at Christmas time is presents.  Gifts.  Gifts for kids, gifts for spouses, gifts for parents, gifts for all kinds of friends and loved ones.  (Gifts from loved ones, as well!)  Gifts in big boxes.  Gifts in small packages.  Gifts in bags with ribbons and bows.  They're all so beautifully wrapped then placed under a tree, waiting for just the right time to be opened.  It's an exciting time, folks.

But it's not ALL about the gifts.

Another one of my favorite things about the holidays is the music.  I can never seem to get enough of it...from Silent Night to Deck the Halls, and everything in between.  But I wanted to mention one of my particularly favorite Christmas songs...

It might be surprising, given my specific religious upbringing...but I love "The Little Drummer Boy".  Part of me identifies with this song simply because I'm a musician, and I play an instrument.  But on a deeper level, I can identify:
  • With the desire to offer a gift to the King...
  • With the realization that I have nothing fit to offer Him...
  • With the attempt at offering Him the best that I can anyway...
  • And with the understanding that my gift, meager though it may be, is still enough to make the King smile.
Because, you see, God is pleased with a gift that is offered in sincere and loving response to the gift He's given us, one that the Apostle Paul says was given "in accordance with his pleasure and will--to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves."  Paul goes on to further explain that this gift is the gift of God's grace.  "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God."

This gift of God is better than any gift that has been wrapped in beautiful paper and ribbons and bows and put under a tree only to be opened in the next few days, in order to bring some measure of joy to the recipient.

Because instead, this Gift of God was wrapped in swaddling clothes and eventually put on a tree only to be raised in a few days, in order to bring an eternity of joy to all who would receive.

That, my friends, is what Christmas is really about.  Not the gifts, but the Gift.

"Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!"

1 comment:

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