BY ALAN BAILEY
GIVING and receiving gifts is a major part of Christmas celebrations. How much time is spent deciding what to buy and how much time is spent taking things back to the shops some days later!
I have to admit that I don’t get too involved in the whole process as my wife is so adept in it all.
Giving something of value to another is an expression of love and esteem.
It’s often said that it is the thought that counts and largely it’s true. Genuine joy and delight can be seen on the faces of receivers — and not only children, but their parents as well.
I remember when my son, who was primary school age, declared that he “couldn’t wait” to give Dad his Christmas present. The moment came when he wheeled in a bike. Amazing! A boy giving his dad a bicycle. It was a great gift.
Thanks where it is due
Grasp the significance of this. “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15). The gift referred to is a Person, given for our sake.
“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given” (Isaiah 9:6). God the Father gave a gift out of love for us, undeserving as we are.
The Christmas story keeps us reminded of the immense importance of the event; the birth of Jesus. He came on a mission. A world lost in sin and ignorance needed a Saviour. That was only part of the act of giving. The Father gave His Son as a sacrifi ce to deal with our sin and wrong. The penalty deserved by us fell on Jesus as He hung upon the cross.
Mankind called for His crucifixion, despising and insulting Him. God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself (2 Corinthians 5:19). Jesus gave Himself to an agonizing death for our sake.
The account of the Indescribable Gift goes on like this. “The wages sin pays is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” ( Rom 6:23).
How well I remember the night I became a Christian. These words were put before me and I realised that God was offering something of immense value. Eternal life. Not to be earned but to be received. No wonder we sing Amazing Grace. ●