Have you ever received a gift that was especially meaningful or memorable? Perhaps it was something you always wanted but could not justify purchasing. Perhaps it was a gift of time, or experience with someone you love. Maybe it was a special note tucked into a card.
Christmas is a magical time of year. I remember the excitement as the Christmas catalogues began to appear: Eaton’s, Sears and Consumers Distributing. We had such fun flipping through the pages (and circling the items that we loved, of course) until the catalogues were virtually in tatters. I guess I must have been—maybe still am—a girly-girl. Thus, dolls always seemed to be a standard gift from one person or another.
One of the earliest dolls I remember was Thumbelina.This tiny doll would wake, then wriggle until you picked her up. There was the Crissy doll with the hair that ‘grew’. The Wendy Walker doll, almost my size, could walk with me. And who could forget Baby Alive who would eat and drink…and then you had to change her. Later, there were the miniature Dawn dolls, Barbie-type dolls only smaller, especially loved because my middle name is Dawn.
Many great dolls. Many great memories. However, one doll in particular stands out to me today. She didn’t talk, walk, wet or wiggle. This doll didn’t come with any gimmicky bells and whistles. She was a simple, beautiful doll with curly dark hair. She was a special gift from my dad, picked out and purchased by him especially for me. She wore pretty lace-trimmed pj’s and, because my dad never did anything in small measure, she had a gorgeous bed complete with frothy canopy.
My dad gave that gift from his heart. A symbol of his love for me.
I’ve received another gift that’s even more special. A gift from another father—my heavenly Father. God gave me this gift from the fullness of His heart, with an outpouring of love just for me. Just for you.
God created a perfect world. He looked on it and said, “It is good.” But on that fateful day in the Garden of Eden, sin corrupted that perfect world as Satan tempted Eve, then Adam with the one thing that they couldn’t have.
Now God looked upon a broken world–His beautiful creation tainted with sin. Full of boundless love for His creation, He devised a plan to rescue it.
He would send His own Son to earth, Emmanuel God with us. He would live as man and fulfill God’s great plan.
God’s Son did not come as the King He is, but as a baby born in a barn. He did not live a privileged life in a palace, but a simple life as a carpenter’s son. He, who was perfect in all ways, felt and experienced the things we do. He grew into a man and did great and wondrous things, all so that people would know His Father. Then, the purpose for His birth: to give Himself on the cross to rescue humanity from the consequences of sin.
With this sacrificial gift, he continues to give: the gift of life after death in heaven with Him, and the gifts of joy, hope, and peace, and a relationship with the Giver.
A gift, however, is not of much use unless it is accepted and opened.
God wants us to know Him and experience His great gifts. He wants to heal broken hearts and take the hand of one who is lost. He wants us to draw close to Him as a little child climbs into his father’s lap and know the love He has to share. He wants us to take it and open it and reap the benefits of this precious gift.
God holds this gift in extended hands waiting for us to receive it. What will you do with that gift?
But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.
And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.”
So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying:
“BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD, AND BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,” which is translated, “God with us.”
Merry Christmas from our home to yours. May you know the peace and joy of the Christmas season throughout the coming year