Friday, November 30, 2012

What to get Jesus for Christmas?

Just coming off of a blessed Thanksgiving holiday and launching headlong into the Advent season can leave a preacher a little breathless. You may be feeling the same way. 

The season of Advent, that scurrying, hurrying, flurrying time that comes in the days leading up to Christmas can put even to most sedate and calm person into panic mode as we try to get the many things done that we always do during this time of year.

Since it is the season in which we celebrate the birth of God’s only son, it seems fitting to not only think about a gift, but really try to give that gift to him. So, it begs the question, what would Jesus like to have for his birthday?

Hum…we give him a lot of things. Christmas parties, special visits to folks where we deliver a song and a Merry Christmas wish, cute plays acted out by equally cute children, big, loud, festive parades, concerts of sacred music, special performances with hand bells, piano, organ and chimes, and last but certainly not least, we buy gifts for each other. We do all this and much more for Jesus on his birthday.

Though I know that Jesus appreciates all that we do in celebration of his birth, I wonder…are these things really what Jesus wants for his birthday. I read a comment this week from a colleague of mine who was wondering the same thing. His idea of a perfect gift for the King of kings was that we take a little time and spend it just hanging out with the Lord of lords. I believe that my friend is on to something here.
What would it look like to just hang out with Emmanuel during this most busy time of year? How about a trip to see the Holy One at the soup kitchen? I’m told he likes to eat there nearly every day. Or maybe we might talk to the Christ child as we listen to Christmas carols all by ourselves in the quiet of the house after everyone has gone to bed. I’ve also heard it said that Jesus lives in the pages of his life’s story found in the Scriptures. We could join Savior of the world there. And I know that during the wee hours of the night, Mary’s sweet Jesus is always there to sit with me as my lonely heart struggles to pray.

Whatever we decide to do this year to honor Jesus’ birthday, may we try to remember that it is our self that Jesus most wants. He wants us. For some crazy reason, he loves us. The love is greater than anything we can even imagine. So to hear from us in the quiet of an evening, morning or mid-day will be exactly what pleases the Lord Jesus on his birthday.

So I say…if that is what he wants, I’m going to try to give Jesus exactly that. I will give Jesus me for Christmas. What will you give him?

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