Making the list starts for us before Thanksgiving. We add to it as we have conversations with the children. Shopping begins in earnest after Thanksgiving. There are websites to check out and stores to dash into. Each day seems to bring something new to the list. Sometimes, it is a new item added by one of the children. Sometimes, it is the name of someone we forgot.
By mid-December we’ve made good headway. Amazon should be delivering. A special trip or two is scheduled to get things we can’t find in town. We’ve gotten on a first name basis with the cashiers at Simpson’s.
Two days before Christmas there is a final flurry of activity. Stockings must be stuffed, last minute items purchased. Someone must make the frightening trip to Walmart on Christmas Eve.
Gift giving starts for us on Christmas Eve and goes through Christmas night. It’s a wonderful twenty-four hours of expressing love by giving gifts.
It struck me the other day, that one name is missing from our list: Jesus. Seems strange doesn’t it? After all, it is His birthday.
Granted, Jesus is hard to buy for. What do you get the person who has everything? I mean, literally, everything! He already owns the cattle on a thousand hills and stars by the thousands. What would He want anyway?
He has a list detailing what He wants. It is found in the book of Micah: “What does He require of you, O man, but to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God?”
This Christmas, give Jesus the gift of doing justice. This is about more than being fair; it means treating each other with respect, standing for what is right, and doing right even when it costs you.
This Christmas, give Jesus the gift of loving mercy. When someone offends you or hurts you, forgive them. Give them grace. If possible, keep the relationship intact. Love people when it is hard to love them.
This Christmas, give Jesus the gift of walking humbly with Him. Admit to Him you have no idea how to live your life. Ask for His help and guidance every day. Walk closely with Him so you learn to be like Him. Stop where He would stop. Walk past temptations as He does. Climb mountains with Him. Rest in the valleys with Him.
This Christmas, the best gift to give Jesus is to give Him yourself. He delights in you and will love the gift you present. Ironically, the gift you give Him will also be the greatest gift you give yourself.