Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Gift...For _____ ??


I stood at the counter counting out my change. One penny short! I dug into my purse again hoping to find just one more coin. Nothing.

"Don't worry. I'll give you a penny," the young cashier cheerily offered. She turned to the employee next to her. 

"Watch my register. I need to go get my purse. I'll be right back."

"Oh you don't need to do that," I called after her, but she had already disappeared into a back room. I can't believe someone would go to that much trouble - out of her own money. How kind is that!

And then I thought about what my daughter had said to me a few hours before.
 
She had stopped by after church and in the course of our conversation I asked her what the sermon was all about.

"'What are we giving Jesus for Christmas?'" she responded. 

 Hmmm. That had not crossed my mind. I had attempted (and failed once again) to do all my Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving so as to avoid the holiday rush. I try to avoid malls at all costs during December. I want the days before Christmas to be peaceful, unhurried and devoid of commercial clutter. But I had not thought of what I would give Jesus for Christmas. What a great sermon topic.

After she left I found a quiet spot and hunkered down with the Lord. "What do You want for Christmas?" I asked. My daughter had plans to give jackets and other gifts to the homeless with a group from her church. Did the Lord want me to volunteer, too? No....I did not get a confirmation on that.

"So what would You like?" I asked again. Then I remembered. BJ (our Maltese dog) and I would be visiting the elderly at a nearby nursing home, bringing them dog-bone shaped Christmas cookies that I made. That was it. But the question still haunted me. Was that enough? 

Now I know that we do not have to earn God's love. But I was raised to be a doer and often have to fight the inner accusation that whatever I am doing is not good enough. So I sat a while longer seeking God's heart. What were the non-tangible ways to bless the Lord?

"Whatever you do to the least of these, you have done to Me" (Matthew 25:40) floated into my mind. Whether it is forgiving someone who hurt us, or holding a door open for the next person, or not focusing on ourselves but others - these are gifts to Jesus.

I realize this post is almost bumping into Christmas day, but here are some thoughts about gifts for Jesus (regardless of what day it is):
  • an encouraging word to one who is discouraged
  • an offer to get together with someone who is grieving 
  • patience with a family member or friend who tends to rub us the wrong way
  • and a heart of gratitude that Jesus came into this dark world to show us God's love and to give us eternal life simply for believing and accepting His gift.

4 comments:

  1. Inspired post, Jane! And it keeps on giving! Thanks. I'll highlight your post on the Christian Poets & Writers blog http://www.christianpoetsandwriters.com.

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  2. The Lord woke me up at 2 am with the idea for the post. So glad it blessed you. Merry Christmas....Jane

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  3. Well Jane thank you for this post. During a Christmas season that is hard this year for many reasons, including losing my wife of 20 years some years back I too heard a sermon asking what will we give Jesus this Christmas. Truthfully, I cringed when I heard that because I had been thinking about myself , mostly. It was right after I heard that that I stepped out my car in a supermarket parking lot and noticed a man trying to fit his walker into a shopping cart. So I went over and asked if I could help him. We started talking. He was HOMELESS, living in his car and asked me for money to buy food. I asked if he had family. He did but were not helping. I asked about a homeless shelter and he said he was afraid of the people there. I knew a friend who works at one. So I told him to wait while I drove all the way home and got phone numbers of my church's peace center for him to get help and I called my friend who told me he would welcome Frank at the homeless shelter and get him some help. It wasn't until I read your post that I considered this might be a gift to Jesus

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    1. That is a very heartwarming story of self sacrifice. Thank you for sharing it! I am sure that man will never forget your kindness. Blessings..Jane

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