What do you want for Christmas? Have you made your list? Do you shake the presents under the tree to see if it rattles or weighs like what you want? Do you always get what you want?
I read of a wife who said what she wanted was to travel. So her husband bought her a map. Another man’s wife said she wanted flowers so he bought her seeds. Another lady told her husband not to buy her jewelry. She said, “What I like you can’t afford, and what you can afford I won’t like.”
Let me ask another question: What do you need for Christmas? The question of need is not the same as the question of want. I suspect that what we need is vastly different from what we want. I’ve said many times, and I suspect that you have to, in response to the question, what do you want for Christmas? “You know, I don’t really need anything.”
There’s one gift I need, and I need it 365 days a year. I need it every bit as much as the air I breathe, and the water I drink, and the food I eat, and the shelter over my head, and the love of my family. In fact, I need it more than any of these. And you need it too.
What’s beautiful about this gift is that it doesn’t cost us anything; it’s available to all.
The angel described this gift to a confused first-century Jew by the name of Joseph who was confronted by the fact of his fiancé’s pregnancy by the Holy Spirit. He said: “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:20-21 NIV).
Later an angel declared to shepherds giving midnights watch over their sheep on the Judean hillside: “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:10-12 NIV).
The apostle Paul articulated the same word as he wrote to his friend Titus: “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good” (Titus 2:11-14 NIV).
Did you recognize the gift? Did you see it? Did you hold it and shake it? Be careful, most of us miss the gift we all need for Christmas.
What do you and I need for Christmas? Grace