Take a moment to think through the perfect gift—what made it special? Was it the cost? Size? Utility? Etc? Today, with Christmas only days away, we are going to look at the gift of Christ to see how it measures up as the Best Gift Ever! The gifts that stand out to us most of the time fit the first criteria, they required the expenditure of:
Time and Thought—Maybe they required no money at all, but they were thoughtful and an investment of time. It is interesting in a world where we all have different amounts of money, connection, influence—we all have equal amount of time to invest. For a lot of people, Christmas is depressing; it is when they are forced to remember loss, reminded of what they no longer have, or even worse feel forgotten. It is the thought behind ministries like Angel Tree—where prisoner’s children who feel abandoned get to see a glimpse of their parents love and hopefully their Heavenly Father’s Love.
So If time and thought are critical to the Best Gift Ever—how Does Christ measure up—The Magi saw in Jesus a gift they considered priceless, willingly traveling over 600 miles, giving up months of their lives, not satisfied with seeing the star but daringly followed it, but in Galatians 4:4-5 we get our answer: But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. 5 God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. When the right time came, reveals that the gift of the incarnation wasn’t arbitrary or random, but was part of God’s plan from the very beginning—a radical and revolutionary response to the rebellion of mankind—alluded to even in the opening pages of Scripture—where he was foreshadowed as the one struck but ultimately striking down sin.
We live in a world that keeps spinning, after a heart-wrenching breakup we still have to go to work, after the cancer diagnosis we still have to get up the next morning, after the lost job the landlord still wants to be paid. In a world where we have hundreds of Facebook friends and talk to only a few, if we are lucky—we are reminded in Christ just how valuable time and thought truly are when they are invested on our behalf. President Woodrow Wilson once received a call in the middle of the night from a civil servant who informed him that one of his appointees had just died suddenly. The caller said, “While I’m sure we are all saddened by this news, I would like to know if I can take his place.” There was a pause at the other end of the line before the president replied, “It’s all right with me, if it’s all right with the undertaker.” While the world continued to spin ahead, we see the best gift ever in Christ, comes into the world to ensure that it doesn’t roll over us, but instead go through the arduous and investment of adopting us.