And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother,
and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they
presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:11).
A number of Christmases ago, we gathered with some friends for a Christmas party. The
party was fairly normal but the gift exchange was what you might say a little out of the
ordinary. During our party, we each wrote down on a piece of paper something about our
lives that we wanted to give to Jesus. We then put our gifts into old ring boxes. The ring
boxes were different colors and some were covered in felt. As we put our pieces of paper
into the boxes, we thoughtfully considered how we would go about giving to Christ some
part of who we were as a Christmas present to Him. And afterward, we each took our ring
boxes home and put them away for one year, upon the completion of which time we were to
take them out and consider how we did at following through with the giving of our gifts to
We look at Christmas as the time to give, and we consider that which is the greatest gift:
Gods Son to us. We remember the wise men who traveled far to bring gifts to Christ,
the new born King, and we consider how we could give something to our King as well. Maybe
we think we havent much to offer, or maybe we think that we will only give it half
way. But we all know that He will take whatever we give from a genuine and loving heart.
Remember the story of the little drummer boy. Obviously he is not mentioned in the
scripture, but is instead a character in a fictional story. Yet, for so many of us he
would be a great example for us to recall. He looked at himself and he saw himself to have
nothing to offer--no gold, frankincense, or myrrh, no gift to bring. But what he did have,
he gave freely--an offering to the King of kings.
All throughout scripture the emphasis is never on how much you can give back to God, but
the emphasis remains on the spirit in which you give it; willingly, not of necessity for
God loveth a cheerful giver. He desires us to have giving hearts even when our pockets are
empty. He would sooner accept the generosity of a poor man who gives his all without
regret, than He would accept the tenth from a stingy soul. All because it is more
important to Him how we give, than what we give.
In all the gifts we give this year and every year, we will never top the giving heart of
our Gracious Lord. But we can do our best to give even as He would give--sacrificially and
thoughtfully. There is a greater joy to be found in giving as He gave, than that which is
so much associated with the commercialized Christmases we have come to experience in our
culture. So many gifts are given from obligation, bought in a rushed moment, and wrapped
us in a display of a task completed. But to give as He gives is to reach into the heart of
ourselves, to find the heart of another, and to give to them what they alone invoke within
our hearts and minds.