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The true gift

December 17, 2007

Pastor Robert Ramphal Oster First Covenant Church Waverly

In the gospel of Matthew 2:11, we read: “When the (wise) men went into the house and saw the child with Mary, his mother, they knelt down and worshipped him. They took out their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh and gave them to him.”

These men, who had traveled for days, were showing their love and appreciation to this little child and his family. They knew this child was a special king that was born for the entire world, and all they could do was to offer him a token gift of their love.

Here is the question we must all ask ourselves: What can we give to Him this Christmas?

The wise men’s gifts were symbolic of something then. They knew in their hearts that this gift was nothing in comparison to the gift the world had now received.

We can further ask, what can anyone give to someone who already has everything? This is a question we must all wrestle with, because we are going to find ourselves thinking of friends and families and the appropriate gift to give each one in celebrating Christmas.

We hope that when we give a gift to someone, it will be done in the name of Jesus, to commemorate His birth.

Some who give gifts may forget the spirit behind the season. They may inadvertently contribute to the commercial nature of the season, especially when some of the businesses do not care about Jesus.

We know some of them are afraid to acknowledge Jesus during this time, because they do not want to offend others who may not believe in Him. We then should ask, why are you capitalizing on this occasion, or pretending you have the spirit of the season?

But this is not what this article is about. It’s about a solemn response this season of giving should have upon all who are engaged in truly celebrating our Lord’s birth.

We should give not only to our families and friends, but also to strangers and poor people. Jesus and his family were poor in material things and were strangers to the wise men. No criterion was established for giving.

Randomly giving is a wonderful thing, because we can never tell how we can affect people’s lives with kindness.

However, with all the gift-giving, we need to remember that Jesus has everything. He is the ruler of world and He has given us this world to live in. He wants us to take care of it, and in return, all He is asking us to give Him is our hearts.

He does not want you to substitute your gift for your heart. He wants obedience and love and true relationship with Him.

He came as a gift to the world for the purpose of saving the souls of each one of us, and the only real gift that would please Him is the gift of your heart to Him.

Material presents are ephemeral, but the gift of your heart is eternal. This is the true gift of Christmas.

When we celebrate this Christmas, please do not let the presents get in the way of celebrating the season. When we sit down to have the Christmas meal, give Him thanks from a grateful heart for what He has done for you, and praise Him, the Creator, and not the creation.

God bless all of you, and may God give you joy and happiness in all your celebrations.