This is a Christmas piece, but one not based on readings from the Gospel concerning Jesus’ birth. Rather, I will be using some thoughts from Paul and some thoughts that Jesus gave during the Galilean ministry.
There is a little bit of Christmas in this piece because one of the pieces that many choirs sing at this time contains the line, “what gift can I bring?”
One would think that one must understand what gifts we have been given so that we know what gift we can bring. Oh, I suppose that one could run down to the store at the mall or page through countless pages of on-line shopping to find the right gift to give the Baby Jesus. But one is going to have to really stretch to give a gift that beats gold, frankincense, and myrrh, don’t you think?
I do believe that the gift we bring to Jesus is found in the gifts that we have been given. In Romans 12: 6 – 8, Paul speaks of the gifts that we have been given:
Each of these gifts is a product of how we received God’s Grace. So the gifts that we give must and need to reflect those gifts that we have received.
And therein lies the rub, how much of those gifts will we give away? There are so many individuals today who proclaim that they have received the gift of grace from God, yet their words, actions, deeds, and thoughts reflect the actions of the one servant who received the one talent and then buried it for fear of losing it. Those who gave more of themselves in terms of the gifts and talents that they received found the return as great as what they had been first given.
And there will come a time when we must account for the use of our gifts. If we look beyond the birth of Christ and beyond His death to the point of His return, then we are faced with the question of when do you use those gifts in my name? How many times did Jesus challenge the people to see God’s presence in their lives outside the Temple? How many times will our use of the gifts we have been given, in whatever form they may take, to help others find Christ?
What gifts will you share this year as your celebration of Christmas?