The Present of Presence
by Rev. Tom Gray
Thanks be to God for his gift that is too wonderful for words.
2 Corinthians 9:15
I like Christmas presents—giving and receiving. When I give a gift, it’s a kind of love-note to the recipient. But if the choice came between getting a gift or seeing a loved one, I’d always vote for the latter. The presence, if you will, beats the present.
So it is in the Christmas story. The present we celebrate is the person of Jesus. Scripture teaches that Jesus is God the Son, so His birth is a love note, a gift to us from our Creator. The words of the note we call Scripture. When we celebrate Christmas, the focus of the services, the gifts, and the visits is Jesus. Without Him, there is no season or reason to celebrate.
Considering all this, I’d like to suggest a a gracious focus for the holiday. More than running ourselves ragged with activities, or going in debt for presents, focus on being with people you love. God loved us enough to give us His Son. In respect of that, giving our time to each other is the most precious gift we have.
I’m not suggesting that you forego giving any presents. Simply focus of being with those you love, if possible. I’ve forgotten most of the actual presents I’ve received through my life, but Ive never forgotten being with my loved ones.
Try focusing more on this. If you don’t live near your favorite relatives, give the gift of yourself to friends.