Well…here we are. It’s Christmas Eve. The waiting and preparation have come to a close. There’s only one more thing that will make our Christmas celebration all that God wants it to be.
Receive the gift!
If you’re like me, that may sound easier than it really is. I’m a giver by nature, and I’m a doer. If someone asks me if they can do anything for me, my token response is, “No, I’m just fine.” And, while not intended to be, that kind of thinking can lead to an arrogance that comes from an independent spirit. “I don’t need anything,” thinking can easily close us off from receiving the gifts of God.
Like the gifts under your tree, God’s gifts are all around us. Sometimes we’ve gotten so used to them, we forget they’re even there. Yesterday, I talked about the gift of breath that gives us life. What a gift indeed! It is autonomic, and we enjoy the gift though we may not even be aware of it all the time. But not all gifts are like breathing. And not all gifts will always be there. If taken for granted, the gift of relationship will dry up and wither away. The gift of health will likewise slip away from those who neglect it. God’s gifts are abundant, but unless we are willing to acknowledge and receive them, they do us little good.
On this Christmas Eve, I think of the passage of scripture found in Revelation 3:20: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice, and OPENS the door, I will come in….” Jesus Christ was born in a world that was in great need of a Messiah. Some recognized the gift and received him; others rejected him, because Jesus threatened their self-reliance. They said to the gift, “No, I’m just fine.” And they missed it! They missed the abundant life and love God so wanted to give them.
Tonight, when you go to Christmas Eve service, please don’t let the opportunity pass to receive God’s gift! Open your heart. Receive the gift of love again…or maybe for the very first time. God loves YOU! Receive the gift…and be filled with joy!
Blessings, Pastor Susan