Friday, December 19, 2014

What Gifts Can We Give to Jesus This Christmas?

“Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh”
(Matthew 2:11).

In the Christmas movie, “The Bishop’s Wife” (1947), the bishop asked what gift we will we give to Jesus, because we remember everyone else but can forget about giving to the One whose birthday we are celebrating.  

Because of health problems, I sometimes feel I have no gift.  I can’t help out with preparing meals, providing transportation, or decorating, setting up, and cleaning up for church events.  There are places I would like to volunteer but can’t because of sitting and standing issues.

In the LifeGuide Bible study, The Cross, by John Stott, I came across a great list of Scriptural gifts which are not based on physical health.

Our bodies (Romans 12:1).
Praise, worship, and thanksgiving (Hebrews 13:15).
Prayer (Revelation 5:8).
A broken and contrite heart (Psalm 51:17).
Faith (Philippians 2:17).
Gifts and good deeds (Hebrews 13:16).
Our lives even unto death (II Timothy 4:6).

We can offer our bodies to Jesus through godly actions, speech, and thoughts.  We can bring praise and worship through sickness and health, even when alone or housebound.

We can pray for family members and others who are suffering, along with countless other situations and groups who need prayer.  When discouraged, discontent, or angry about our problems, we can acknowledge our weaknesses and ask for forgiveness.

We can use our challenges to increase our faith and share these lessons with others.  If we are financially able, we can support Christian organizations and our local church, and we can impact our doctors, family members, and friends through our testimony of God’s faithfulness.

And if our sickness or pain leads to death, we can let our faith shine until the end comes.

Our gifts may not as be visible as others’, but they are ones which God has specifically asked for, and we can continue to give them throughout the coming year. 

Happy Birthday Jesus – I think You will like Your gifts.
Prayer:  Lord Jesus, what can I give you, poor as I am?  If I were a shepherd I would bring a lamb; if I were a wise man I would do my part; yet what I can I give you - my heart, and body, and mind - today, and every day (adapted from the hymn “In the Bleak Mid-Winter” by Christina Rossetti).  Amen.

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