For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; (Isa 9:6)
Christmas time is here. Streets trimmed with twinkle lights, malls with tinsel- gold, red, white illuminating the proverbial evergreen. Wish lists seem to get longer by the day, and shopping lists seem endless. For many, presents begin to accumulate under the tree.
What does Christmas mean to you? In our materialistic society, gifts tend to be the focus of the season. What should I ask for? How much should I spend? What makes a good gift?
These were some of the questions on our minds when our youth group went out shopping last month. We decided to exercise the true meaning of Christmas by participating in Operation Christmas Child. We were able to fill 7 shoe boxes to send to children in need. We filled the boxes with toys, school supplies and other gifts. By now, the boxes will have reached their destinations, ready to be opened in just a few days time.
It was a humbling experience as we bought the recommended "wow" items for the children: soccer balls, dolls, and other simple toys. It was definitely a stark contrast to the "wow" items found under a Canadian tree: an xbox, ipad, or hoverboard. For some, a soccer ball is quickly tossed to the side, while for others a ball is loved and cherished for many years. This demonstrates that the value of a gift is not found in the gift itself, but rather in the perception of the one who receives it.
Although it’s exciting to think of these children receiving "wow" items, the true gift isn't found in the shoe-boxes. The true gift is in the mission. Sending these gifts gives an opportunity for these children to know that someone loves them and that person is Jesus Christ.
Each one who packed a shoebox has already received God's indescribable gift, the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior (2 Cor 9:15). Our prayer is that these children will Jesus as their own personal saviour as well.
Sending these gifts gives an opportunity for these children to know that someone loves them and that person is Jesus Christ.
For some, the message may fall on deaf ears. Some children may be more impressed by the gifts than the giver of all good (James 1:17). Yet some will see the love of Jesus and take him as their Savior (John 3:16)
As we celebrate Jesus' birth here in Canada, the question goes out to us as well. What's do I think of God's gift? Is it valuable or is it insignificant?