As a child the whole nativity story captivated me. I loved the account of a special baby born in a stable and visited by angels, shepherds and three kings. We had a set of nativity figures with which I would act out the story – it was a highlight of the build up to Christmas day for me. But once Christmas was over and the nativity scene safely stored back in the attic – what did I do about this special baby, Jesus, in my life? As it happened, not a lot until Christmas came round once more!
I also loved all the Christmas carols and still do. Many we sing focus on different aspects of the nativity story. ‘We three kings of Orient are, bearing gifts we traverse afar’. The kings or wise men brought expensive gifts and were overjoyed at finally finding the King they had come to worship.
However there was another carol that I especially treasured as a child. It was about a little shepherd boy who came to see Jesus but had no gift to give the new born baby. And yet, whilst he had nothing of significance to give the baby Jesus, the little boy decided there was one thing he could give to Him - his heart. What a perfect gift to give Jesus, it was all the boy had and he gave it to the newborn King.
Traditionally we shower a new born baby with gifts as we share the parents’ joy at the child’s birth. But surely the most precious gift of all that anyone can give is the gift of love. Likewise Jesus loves us to give Him our heart and our love, now and every day. Notice that, whilst the wise men did give expensive gifts, the first thing they gave was their worship. As we give Jesus our heart, our love, and our worship, obedience to Him will begin to flow.
What gift are you going to give Jesus this Christmas time and throughout the year to come?
The rich may bring their gifts of gold,
An off'ring for the King;
My gift is simple, truth be told,
My heart is all I bring.
I bring my gift to Jesus,
The best I have to give,
I give my heart to Jesus,
For all the years I live. Mabel J. Rosemon
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