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Christmas Presents

December 19, 2011

A wonderful story is filling the news this week. ‘Angels’ are going around to local department stores and paying lay-away bills for families that otherwise might lose cherished gifts they were anticipating for the Christmas season. Choosing to remain anonymous, these angels simply pay off all or most of the remaining debt and then move on. 

As wonderful as this gesture is, it still pales in comparison to the first Christmas gift. God sent his Son, not only to ‘pay our bills’, he also came and walked with us. This year’s Christmas angels are giving generous gifts that are touching many lives. However, they are only sharing their material resources with others. 

When God came to us as a baby in a manger, he took on the very life that was so messed up. He did not remain anonymous or removed. He left all of his comfort to experience all of our misery. He gave us his name and ate our food. He experienced the ache of grief, the sting of prejudice, and the pain of rejection caused by pride and selfishness. He met pious, religious leaders who were out for personal recognition and financial gain. He did not hand out relief that cost little of what he had; he lived hope and gave his life to reconcile us to Himself. 

As you think about acts of love and kindness that can impact and transform other lives, think about how you can go beyond a material gift and give of yourself. Give people your name, your compassion, and your heart. After all, Christmas really is all about Presence.

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