Thursday, December 24, 2009

In Search of That Perfect Gift

I love giving gifts. The perfect gift. And there are two kinds of perfect gifts.

First there is the "I always wanted one of these" gifts. Someone you love has shared with you something that they wish they had. You spend the entire month of December walking the aisles of local stores and searching the Internet. And you find it. Exactly what they asked for. Exactly what they wanted. You wrap it up and place it under the tree and get giddy every time you think about it. You can't wait to give it.

And when they open their gift, it's hard to tell who's more excited about it. Them or you?

Take Rachel for example. She's been asking for one thing this year. "A pink heart just like Lexi." Apparently, our neighbor girl has a pink heart hair clip...that I have never seen! If I had been able to find this "pink heart just like Lexi" it would have fallen into this category of perfect gifts.

I could not.

I'll get over it. And so will Rachel, I'm sure.

But I so wanted to give that gift.

On to the other perfect gift.

Have you ever known someone so well that you knew exactly what they needed even though they them self did not? This is the "I didn't even know they made these!" or "I never would have thought of this!" gift.

This comes with the added anxiousness of wondering "will they really like it?" But oh the perfection of being able to give a loved one the very thing they need but wouldn't have known to ask for!

I have been on the receiving end of this type of perfect gift.

One night, long before I was born, I was given a gift. And that gift was wrapped in swaddling cloths and laid in a manger. And His birth announcement filled the sky and announced His arrival to those the world would have called "no one special." And they went to see Him. This gift that changed everything.

I never would have known to ask for a Savior.

But He came.

And He came for you too.

Luke 2

The Birth of Jesus
1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to his own town to register.

4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels
8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christa]">[a] the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.