A Gift Hardly Afforded
Growing up, my six siblings and I highly anticipated our family Christmases. The excitement level grew rapidly throughout December, reaching its climax early on Christmas morning. That was when we would rise to find gifts scattered beneath our tall, brightly decorated tree. Our parents always seemed to choose that morning to sleep in! When we finally did gather around that tree, Dad would pass out a present for one of us to unwrap while the others watched. He did that one at a time until we were done. Money was not easy to come by, so the gifts were either inexpensive or were clothes that we would need during the coming months, Christmas or not. They were mostly wrapped in newspaper since Christmas wrap was way out of their budget. Even so, the warm memories of those childhood Christmases still linger.
One year was different for a younger brother and me. After all the gifts around the tree had been opened, Mom and Dad told us to run down to the barn where we would find something else. We ran as instructed and I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw two brand new Schwinn three-speed bicycles, one with my name on it. The hand-me-down bikes we were accustomed to riding had rattling fenders, loose seats, and crooked handlebars. Never did I imagine that a brand new bicycle would be mine!
My first reaction was stunned amazement, followed by excitement. However, that quickly turned into worry. How could Mom and Dad have afforded to give such a gift? I was very concerned that they had purchased something they could not afford.
It was not until a decade later that I experienced Jesus and came to realize that God gave a Gift He could hardly afford. While love motivated my parents to give an expensive gift to children who loved them in return, divine love compelled God to give His Son for a world that did not care for Him and hardly even acknowledged Him.
Throughout the year, and especially during the Christmas season, we not only acknowledge Jesus but we bow before Him as the Son of God, our Redeemer. While society around us is abuzz with holiday activities, we take time to celebrate the birth of our Savior. We give praise to the One who came to save His people from their sins. We appreciate God’s priceless gift to humanity, Jesus Christ. Debbie and I pray that gratitude and gladness will fill your heart during the remainder of this sacred season. May God grant you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas!