An old ornament hangs on my tree. It says, “Baby’s First Christmas 1983.”
My first Christmas happened a long time ago, and I don’t remember any gift or event from that day. However, Christ’s Gift only grows more poignant and memorable with time.
“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us,” John wrote. Christmas Day has come and gone many times, but Jesus has come! He has pitched His tent here with us, and He has promised, “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” He has also promised, “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”
Christ’s Gift isn’t hope or love or joy or peace. Christ’s Gift is Himself, His presence.
It is a Gift we can use and enjoy every day of the year for all our years.
For as long as the Apostles lived, they rejoiced in the presence of Jesus. They are rejoicing there still!
Just as gifts were stacked under the Christmas tree, so the grace of God is stacked up- grace upon grace for us. Jesus invites us to come to Him. He leans in toward us, gathering us under His wings, whispering His truth and providing everything we need from His abundance.
When we use this Gift, the byproducts are hope, love, joy, and peace. Christmas has come, but it has not gone when we receive the Gift of Christ.
Our church is made up of former addicts, prostitutes, pharisees, homeless wanderers, those who have been abused, and abusers. Their lives used to be filled with hatred, envy, hurt, standards they never could keep, loneliness, despair, and fear.
Each one was given Christ’s Gift. Each one reached out to take it, open it, and make it his or her own. Jesus’s Holy Spirit now dwells inside of us, and we rejoice together in hope, love, joy, and peace because of all that Jesus is doing in us.
We are walking proof that “the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Another great thing about Christ’s Gift is that His Fullness never runs out. We can share it with as many people as we can and still have an abundance for ourselves! We can’t be stingy with what He has given.
The Apostles couldn’t keep it to themselves either. They urged everyone to forsake all and follow Christ Jesus.
Now, with the Apostle Paul, we can all say, “Thanks be to God for His inexpressible gift!”