From The Manse: Winter 2007
The end of the year always seems to be such a rush. People preparing for Advent and Christmas; Rehearsals for Nativities and Carol Services; Cakes and Mince pies to be made; Cards to write.
Now whilst preparations in shops and stores seem to get earlier and earlier, I’m always caught in a last minute rush, and I doubt whether this year will be any different. In fact I seem to have far more to do now than I ever did!
The one thing that always takes me the most time is buying Christmas presents – I never know what to get! But, it is often said that we learn the most from our children, so perhaps we could take a lesson from this little girl…
There is an old story about a man who punished his 3-year-old daughter for wasting a roll of gold wrapping paper. Money was tight, and he became infuriated when the child tried to decorate a box to put under the Christmas tree. Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift to her father the next morning and said, “This is for you, Daddy.”
The father was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction once he realised the gift was for him. He opened the gift, but his anger flared again when he found that the box was empty. He yelled at her, “Don’t you know that when you give someone a present, there’s supposed to be something inside of it?”
The little girl looked up at him with tears in her eyes and said, “Oh, Daddy it’s not empty. I blew kisses into the box. All for you, Daddy.”
The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little girl, and he begged her forgiveness. He kept that gold box by his bed for years.
Whenever he was discouraged, he would take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of the child who had put it there.
At Christmas time, we celebrate the fact that God gave us the most precious gift of all – His Son – God’s love in human form. So in a very real sense, each of us has been given a gold container filled with unconditional love and kisses from God. Through the sacrifice of Jesus, God’s only Son, we have the access to eternal life. And so whatever we give or receive this Christmas there is no present more precious than a gold box filled with the love of God.
However and wherever you celebrate Christmas this year, may you always know the unconditional love of God, may His peace reign in your hearts, and His grace and strength guide you in all you do in the coming year.
Yours in Christ,