As a dad, I know we can have tension during Christmas time with all the emphasis on presents. My struggle is always putting correct focus on the birth of Christ and allowing my kids to experience all the love that I have for them which is a reflection of His love for them.
I came to realize that Christmas presents are good. In The Story of God, He gave the first & greatest Christmas gift—The gift of His only Son; the Immanuel, God with us. This is a gift that God wrapped just for you in swaddling cloth & placed Him sweetly in a manger for you to find.
When a present is offered to you from someone you love there are three things you need to do:
1.) Accept it. You don’t leave a present hanging. When someone who know cares enough to extend a gift, you reach out and receive it.
2.) Say, “Thank you!” To express your gratitude is a very important part of the exchange. It affirms the heart behind the gift. Most of the time, I ask my kids to say “Thank you” before they’ve opened up the present. Their gratitude shouldn’t be dependent on if they like it. We express gratitude for the love that being extended.
3.) Give a gift in exchange. Always the idea is to express our love back. We don’t always have something available but should consider a response that appropriate.
In the case of God giving His Son as a gift, you have to make the same choices of what to do in response.
Will you accept this gift, say “Thank you,” & give Him the gift in exchange? Now what can we possibly give to the God of all creation that He doesn’t have? Yourself. You are gift. God gave you life as a gift and when sin broke our relationship with Him, He, in His grace, offered His Son; Himself to reset the relationship.
So we can respond by accepting this gift, saying “Thank you” and giving ourselves back to Him. You are a gift.
For by grace you have been saved through faith.
And this is not your own doing;
it is the gift of God. [Ephesians 2:8]