Summary: In the days following Christmas, many will have conversations about what you got for Christmas. Some stories will be grand, some not so much. Gift categories: gifts that need to go back, gifts that you store/cherish, gifts that you use.
What You Didn’t Get for Christmas
In the days following Christmas, many will have conversations about what you got for Christmas. Some stories will be grand, some not so much. I see many pictures on social media that show gifts of all kinds. A friend from Florida bragged on her husband and said he got it right because he purchased her a certain kind of boots she had been wanting.
Have you ever had an eye on a certain something for Christmas? You wanted it so much that you even dropped hints in some obvious ways? At the end of the gift unveiling, it isn't there. You make up your mind that the first trip to town, you are just going to have to break down and get it for yourself.
Gifts that need to go back
The weeks following Christmas are filled with stores with long lines. Why? It didn't fit, wrong color, wrong style – the list goes on and on just like those long lines.
• The Gift from the manger often gets sent back when we find that a relationship with Jesus doesn't fit in with our friends
• Jesus gets sent back when we get too busy with our jobs and activities with our children and families
• The Christmas boy gets sent back when He doesn't do what we want Him to (doesn't heal our sick, etc.)
• Jesus gets sent back when we don’t understand Him
Gifts that you store/cherish
Sometimes someone goes overboard and gets you a really expensive gift. It is so exquisite and wonderful that you don’t want to mess it up so you put it away where it is safe and secure. I have a collector’s edition of a pocket knife that was given to me by a church member. It is put up for safe keeping. I don’t even use it for cleaning my fingernails!
• Jesus is “shelved” most often not because we cherish Him, but we don’t know how to relate to Him
• We find the Baby from Bethlehem tucked away because we find that is a comfortable place to keep Him. He can’t interfere in our lives so much when He has been put on a shelf.
• If someone asks us if we have Jesus, we can quickly pull Him off our storage shelf and proclaim proudly “Here He is!”
• Sometimes things get put on a shelf because we don’t know how to use them. Fancy camera, gadget, etc. often are too complex to learn so they get stored away soon to be forgotten. If we can’t figure this ‘Jesus’ thing out, we often just put Him on a shelf.
Gifts that you use
Sometimes we get practical gifts. My mother-in-law used to buy everyone underwear for Christmas. Now that is very practical. I usually try to hold off on getting my underwear inventory restocked until after Christmas. It may not be a flashy gift (or it better not in my case), but it IS very practical. You know it is going to be used.
• What is the one gift you received that you will use the most?
• Why do you think you will use this particular gift the most?
A. The gift that is used the most (practical) is most likely something that is of great need
B. Is most likely easy to use, not too complicated
C. It fits well, saves time, looks good, fun to use, provides enjoyment, etc.
• Jesus is the gift from God that fits everyone that accepts Him.
A. Everyone needs Him (salvation)
B. Saves time (Jesus’ way vs. my way)
C. Comes with an instruction book (Bible) with ongoing classes (Church/Bible Study, etc.)
Gift that you didn't get (what you didn't get for Christmas was a cheap gift)
Govett says: “Christ, by nature Son of God, became Son of man, that we, by nature sons of man, might become sons of God. Wonderful exchange!”
We were slaves and have become sons (v5). We are not just free from the penalty of sin, but we have received an inheritance as God’s children. Jesus was born into humanity as a child of a young woman of questionable character by society’s standards. Jesus came under the very law He created so that He could become the fulfillment of that law for us.
God sent His only son for us even though we were then and even now, sinners. God knowing full well each of us, made a decision that we are worth it. To spite our hatred for one another, to spite our natural tendency to sin, God said “I’ll send Him anyway!”
This “gift” of Jesus is something for the whole world (John 3:16). For reasons I cannot understand, many in this world reject Him. God’s plan for us was that we would not just be free from the penalty of sin but that we would be grateful enough to our emancipator, that we would seek a relationship with Him.