The best present was received on the Christmas day of my junior year in undergrad. I was incredibly stressed, dealing with some minor depression and financially strapped. I owed my parents what seemed like an insurmountable amount of money. When my dad asked what I wanted for Christmas, I told him I'd like him to just forgive all my debt and give me a clean financial slate. We both laughed!
On Christmas morning, I opened up a large box with a piece of slate from the roof of our Queen Anne Victorian home. I was confused. My mom told me that he was up after I went to bed...cleaning it. "It's a clean slate!" He said. It still took me a few moments, and then I burst into tears, feelings of utter joy and freedom all mingled up with awe and disbelief. The clean slate is still one of my most prized possessions.
The best gifts cost us and require a personal relationship between the giver and receiver. They cost us money or sleep or thought or resources or time or opportunity or a host of other things. The costs assures us of our value to the giver. The element of a personal relationship affirms that the receiver is known and seen and that they are worthy of sacrifice.
The result of receiving an awesome gift is always the same. It empowers the giver and receiver to share life in a new and unprecedented way.
Sharing life! This is why we give, this is why we receive. The gift that God gave in Jesus Christ is brilliant and beautiful and crazy extravagant! It's the best!
It's the best because it cost him. It's the best because to receive it requires relationship, receiving means that you acknowledge that you are valued, known, seen, and loved. And it's the best because it empowers us to share life with our creating, redeeming, sustaining, love-lavishing God in a new and unprecedented way!
Share life today.
"Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”
- Luke 11:11,13