As valuable as the things you can share are, Christ is the best Christmas gift, the only gift capable of bringing life.
Have you ever been approached on the street by a stranger to congratulate you and give you a gift?
But a real gift, not one of those promotions whose objective is that you end up buying something from them.
For me, at least, no.
Nor is it usual for someone with whom you have a terrible grudge to approach you to give you gifts. And if it does, before you open them you x-ray them. Just in case.
And that happens because we give gifts to people we love and know.
People who have helped or taught us in a selfless way. People who have granted us the privilege of their friendship, their time, or even their resources.
It is these people whom we honor with gifts, and whose achievements we congratulate and recognize.
But the rest of the population often remains invisible to our eyes. Because we understand that they have done nothing for us, nor are they anything for us.
At most, we make a donation to an NGO. But sometimes it is more out of remorse than out of true altruism.
And this is so because, by nature, we are selfish. Even, in some cases, these gifts are a way to “maintain a relationship” that, perhaps, we are neglecting.
However, Jesus shows us the true nature of the attitude of giving. Thus, in the Gospel of Luke chapter 14 Jesus speaks about a wedding, and tells his host that when he holds a celebration he should not invite friends, but the poor and needy.
Because friends could return the invitation and repay the favor. But the needy could not, and that is what God would value and reward.
In fact, that is what God did with us.
Although God loves us, for many He was a perfect stranger. At most someone we had heard of, but with whom we either had no relationship at all, or our relationship was one of hatred or contempt. But, in all cases, we lived outside their ways and their will.
And in spite of that contempt, God gave us the best of gifts.
Let’s see what Luke’s Gospel tells us, chapter 2 and verses 10 and 11:
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.
God had no obligation to us.
We had done nothing to reciprocate.
In fact, we had earned his back.
And yet, his love for us, a genuine and selfless love, impelled him to give us redemption and eternal life.
He paid the price for our sins, for our rebellions, for our indifference against Him. And in Christ he gave us eternal life, granting us the right to be his children.
It doesn’t matter what our attitude toward God is. He looks at us through His mercy and wants us to recover the perfect relationship that we human beings had with Him at the beginning of Creation.
And that is why he sent Christ to rescue us. No strings attached, no fine print. A gift of love.
But like all gifts, you can only enjoy this one if you accept it and unwrap it to use it.
So this Christmas I invite you to accept the gift that God offers you, because no other gift will transform your life as Christ will.
And if you already have it, remember to share it with everyone else, known or unknown.
Because, as valuable as the things you can share are, Christ is the only gift that will bring them life.
God bless you.
And a very Merry Christmas.
Cover photo by Gareth Harper on Unsplash