20/12/2022 by Rev. Doug Walker 0 Comments
The Greatest Gift
As seen in the HEARTbeat and the Village Voice
The Greatest Gift
What was the greatest Christmas gift you ever received? Was it a bicycle with the banana seat and high-rise handlebars? Or was it a doll you could carry on a conversation with? Many of us can look back on Christmases past and name some of our most memorable gifts we unwrapped on Christmas morning.
As we thumb through our memories of Christmas gifts, there is one which probably sticks out more than others. This is the one you begged for, the one you dreamed about, and most likely the one you dropped hint after hint about! It would be the gift you would brag about, even showing it to as many of your friends as possible. You wanted it more than oxygen itself, and just had to have it or you thought you would die! It seems parents know how deeply we “want” something as a gift and more times than not always followed through.
For thousands of years the nation of Israel begged for a gift. It was one they not only wanted, but it was also one they desperately needed, more than they realized. Hint after hint was sent by the Gift-giver, only to be ignored by all but a few. Many individuals would try to convince the nation the gift “is coming,” only to be ignored or, in some cases, threatened to not talk about the gift anymore.
The Gift-giver determined the proper Christmas to give the much anticipated, much prayed for gift. It would not come in great grandeur. It would not come wrapped in gold paper even though gold would be very fitting for this gift. It would not be placed under a tree for the recipients and others to examine and wonder for weeks before the unwrapping day. This gift came in a very different way.
God gave the gift of His only Son to the world. He did so through a young virgin. Her husband and her traveled a great distance to a place foretold in prophecy to receive this gift. The gift came, but was not viewed by the nation of Israel, who had been begging for Him for so long. This gift was only seen initially by His mother, His earthly father, and some barnyard animals. His birth was seen by two sets of human eyes and by untold pairs of animal eyes. But make no mistake, every eye in heaven saw this gift be born, and every voice in heaven sang praises to the newborn King.
The nation of Israel prayed for a king for thousands of years. But the Gift-giver, God the Father, gave a gift not only to the nation, but to the whole world. Heavenly hosts sang their joy, and Gabriel told others who had to go see this gift – the shepherds.
Jesus came into our world in the most lowly of conditions. One who was born in a place for beasts of burden would eventually burden the sins of the entire world upon Himself. Never forget why He came, but never cease to be in awe of His love for you and the entire world! Hallelujah, the King has come! Hallelujah!