For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. -Revelation 19:6
It’s another Christmas Eve.
The tree sits in multicolored splendor in our living room, guarding the presents lovingly set under its branches in readiness for tomorrow’s festivities. It’s not quite ready, though. I still have one more run to town to run that last errand. There’s also one more gift I’m mulling over today as I sit here with you.
What do I give a king?
Kings must be the hardest people to buy for. They can have whatever they want. A person who possesses enough money and power can get pretty much all his needs and wants satisfied. He can even buy the feigned loyalty of those around him. There’s only one thing a king can’t buy:
Oh, he can get affection. He can get “like.” But I’m talking about passionate love, the head-over-heels adoration that sees no fault in its beloved; a love that gives sacrificially and completely and with a full heart.
A love like God’s.
This season commemorates Love Incarnate, the total giving of God’s best and highest and most adored treasure: His own Son. In this Son, He didn’t give us a half-hearted gift. He bestowed upon us – the undeserving and uncaring – the most valuable thing He had to offer:
Not just in eternity. Life now, on this earth, every day.
What a gift! What a God! What awe it should inspire in us every moment of every day!
What do we dwell on?
Humans have a bad habit of minimizing the good others do for us while inflating perceived wounds. In the course of a normal day, which event are we more likely to replay over and over in our minds, the kindness from another, or an insult?
We especially do this with God. Most of us awaken each morning (Miracle #1) in a warm bed (Miracle #2) and never even once remember to be grateful for each gift of life, health, and provision God gives us. Day in and day out, we accept these gifts without so much as a simple “Thank you.”
Forget the love.
But let something go wrong. What is our first reaction? If we’re honest, we’ll admit our first thought is usually to shake our fist at heaven and shout, “Why me, God?” Did we arise that morning and raise our hands to heaven and shout with equal fervor, “You are so good to me, God!“? It’s easy to take for granted that which hasn’t cost us anything. Until we hurt. Then we miss what we didn’t realize we had.
This Christmas, the King asks for only one gift. It won’t cost much. But it must be extravagant.
Give Him your heart.