“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4: 1-3 NIV
I just love this time of the year! I’m one of “those people” who loves the shopping, the huge crowds and the busy schedules. Call me crazy, but it all just comes and goes way too fast for me.
My favorite gift to give AND receive is the one that really surprises… the one you didn’t even know you needed or wanted! That type of gift doesn’t have to be expensive, but it does require a sacrifice of a different kind… the sacrifice of time and energy in getting close enough to someone to really know them. But when you give a gift like that, something deep within is fully satisfied… it’s the best!
This year as I started to create my shopping list, I realized someone very important was missing… Jesus! I mean after all, it IS His birthday, right?! Can you imagine being invited to a party, bringing gifts for everyone in attendance except the birthday boy?! The thought really challenged me and I started to think of what gift would I give to Jesus?
As I do with everyone on my list, I started to think about Him… His interests and hobbies… what would make Jesus really smile when He opened the box? Enjoying the challenge, my mind playfully bounced all over the place, from another jewel for His crown to a new pair of socks! As I snickered at the thought of giving Jesus socks, I continued to be challenged with the thought of what could I possibly give a King? Gently, the Holy Spirit started to take my thoughts a different direction… to areas in my heart I had been holding back from Him.
In Ephesians 4, Paul urges us to “live life worthy of the calling you’ve received,” and goes on to describe what that looks like: humble, gentle, patient, bearing with one another in love, peace. My goodness how that sounds different from my traditional holiday season.
What if my gift to Jesus would be to live life worthy of Him? What if I chose to be patient in ALL the checkout lines? What if I humbled myself this season… forgiving that friend who hurt me last year? What if I made every effort to stay in the Spirit throughout the holidays, choosing peace at the family get-togethers? What if!? It certainly would fit all of the criteria for that “really great gift”… special, sacrificial, surprising… I think He’ll love it!
What parts of your heart can you give to Jesus this year? Spend some time thinking about that and journal your thoughts.
Father, Thank You for the gift of Jesus! That through a little baby, we receive a life worthy to give back to You. Help us to choose YOU this season, over the chaos and noise. Help us to examine our hearts and be willing to give You access to every part of it; for we know it is truly the only thing that we have to offer You. Happy Birthday Jesus! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.