Home > Opinion > Sharing God’s gift in Christ

Sharing God’s gift in Christ

WHAT TO buy for Christmas? The way people choose Christmas gifts for their family and friends is rather fascinating.

Some seem to have no trouble at all.

These are the ones who rush out to the Boxing Day sales and buy what they want for the next Christmas.

Others simply settle on one idea and buy a dozen, one for each member of the family.

Some agonise over each gift, hoping that the recipient will appreciate what they receive.

Then, of course, there are the people like me who rush out a day or two before Christmas and buy the first thing thatseems
appropriate, telling ourselves that it is the thought that counts.

It is wonderful that all of our gift-giving is but a pale reflection of God’s gift of himself in Jesus Christ.

It’s wonderful that God didn’t just say, “It’s the thought that counts”.

Some readings from the Old Testament seem to indicate that God had given this a lot of thought for hundreds of years, if
not from the beginning of time.

Each year we read Isaiah 9:2-7 and it sounds as though Isaiah knew all about God’s intention to send Jesus into the world.

Of course, there are those who would see far deeper intentions of God in this passage than a simple prediction about Jesus’ birth.

Maybe God has been trying to draw our attention to God’s divine presence in our midst ever since the world began.

In the person of Jesus that divine presence has been made fully known.

In that gift we see all the love that God has for the whole of the created universe.

The gift of Jesus may seem like some vague religious notion to many who are busily shopping at this time of year, however as Dr Hugh Begbie wrote in the Cromwell College magazine Coca in December 2009:

“But for those who see through the hype to the bed of straw in a small town 7km from Jerusalem, what they discover is
the extraordinary and life-giving truth that, in Christ, the sovereign God of the universe knows our pain; in Christ, God confronts our pain; in Christ, God prepares the way to heal our pain.

“More importantly, God knows that our pain is bound to our moral brokenness, to that line of good and evil that runs like a ragged fissure through our hearts.”

I barely remember the gifts I received last year, yet the world has remembered that divine gift for over 2000 years.

This gift of Jesus has brought hope, healing, forgiveness and new life to millions of people down through the centuries and throughout the world.

I wonder how the gift of Jesus Christ will bring transformation to many this year.

Those who have unwrapped this wonderful gift of God are engaged to help those around them also recognise and unwrap
this gift.

We must not clutch Christ to ourselves rejoicing that we have found salvation without asking ourselves how the sharing of
Christ might draw others into a healing, renewing, life-giving relationship with God.

Can I urge all those who participate in the life of our church to think about the way they share God’s gift.

Can you invite someone to a Christmas event with you?

Can you invite someone to share Christmas lunch with you?

Can you give a lonely person a gift that expresses Jesus’ love for them?

Rather than bemoaning the commercialisation of Christmas, why not take hold of the cultural practice of giving Christmas gifts and infuse it with the life of Jesus Christ, God’s incarnate gift to us.

I hope that you have been encouraged and enriched as you have read the material offered to you in Journey this year.

Thank you for your prayers and messages of care for me and my family as I underwent
heart surgery.

We have really appreciated the sense of care and love that we have experienced within the community of Christ.

I wish you all a happy and blessed Christmas as you enjoy discovering more of the wonders of God’s gift to us in Jesus Christ.

Share his love and grace with all your loved ones and neighbours and celebrate with those all across the world who are
united in Christ.

I pray that the New Year will be filled with God’s richest blessing.