Finally, I got what I needed on Christmas
Christmas lists. We make them. We request them. We shop with them. Shirts…pants…games…TVs…computers…pajamas…lingerie (just seeing if you’re still reading). Sometimes we confuse wants for needs. I’m pretty sure we understand when we make out this list it’s to fulfill our insatiable thirst of wants.
Of all the Christmas lists I’ve made or received I’ve never seen one that included “hope” or “life” or “purpose” or even “Jesus”. Maybe you have. I haven’t.
What did you get last year? If I scrape my aging mind that seems to forget more than it remembers I recall that I got some clothes (that I needed ;), some fun gadgets and some goodies to eat. Every once in a while we get something that is memorable. But, mostly we can’t recall from year to year what we received or even what we gave to others. Maybe it’s because when we give each other things we want we aren’t really creating something that lasts, only something that is craved for a moment until the next craving comes along. This year it might be clothes and next year electronics. But every year we NEED one thing. You might not know you need it. You may have it but need to be reminded each year that you have it. What is it?
The Christmas List of the Ages
Over 2000 years ago a young betrothed woman was approached by an angel of God and told that she would soon be with child (which I’m sure she thought was somewhat amusing and I know she thought was crazy since she hadn’t slept with her future husband). It’s an event we can’t comprehend. Neither could this young woman. Months later, in a lowly manger area she gave birth to that promised baby. She gave birth that day to a child that even she would need.
Jesus’ birth was not simply a holiday searching for a story. He was truly a gift we needed. A gift that I needed. And, for much of my life I didn’t even know I needed Him. Over 2000 years after that miraculous event and more than 37 years after the day I realized what I really needed, Christmas reminds me of what I really need. And, I got it. It’s like God looked right through the items on my Christmas list and said, “those are fun, enjoyable but temporary. Because I made you, Jeff, and because I know what you don’t have what you really need, I’m going to give that to you instead. Jeff, meet my son, Jesus”.
Every year Christmas is a reminder that God gave me exactly what I needed and still need. I needed Jesus to be born because He provided what I could not. Hope. Life. Purpose. Redemption. Like any gift, if it remains unopened or misused, it won’t provide the expected benefit. Thankfully, I realized that Christmas was not only about what I needed. It is also what I really wanted…a way out of the mess my sinfulness created. Now, I’m united with God through Christ. That is really the gift that keeps on giving.
Thank you, Jesus, for coming and giving us what we really needed and need every day of this life and for an eternal life…YOU. Happy Birthday, Jesus. And, Merry Christmas to each of you. I pray you experience the joy of this gift of Jesus as being what you really