Every year I agonize over which gifts to buy my children for Christmas. It isn’t always easy to find the perfect present or group of presents for them. I have to take into account their unique interests, their current ages and levels of development, their needs, what kinds of things they already have, and so forth. So I agonize over the decision every year, and I do so with the full knowledge that they’ll probably forget all about the gifts and begin to take them for granted in a matter of weeks. I know that’s true, because it’s exactly what I did as a child every year. The apple never falls far from the tree.
In a similar (but infinitely more competent) way, our Heavenly Father takes care to give good gifts to His children. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above,” we are told, “and comes down from the Father of lights” (James 1:17). Ever benevolent and always kinder to us than we deserve, our Creator showers us with presents daily. Air to breathe. Food to eat. Water to drink. Structures to shelter us, clothes to warm us, and all the material things we enjoy. He also gives us relationships to enrich our lives and all the beauty of nature to awe and inspire us. Even more importantly, He has given us the Scriptures that we might know Him, and the Spirit that we might live in a manner pleasing to Him. Truly, our God is a God Who delights in giving gifts to His creatures. We should take note of that and should purpose never to take these gifts for granted.
But as we enter the season of gift giving, let us remember above all else the greatest gift of all. On a silent night in Bethlehem, a baby’s cry rang out into the darkness. Humanly speaking there was nothing remarkable about it: babies are born every day, and this one must have looked pretty much like all the other Israelite babies born that night. But within that Child dwelt the majesty of infinite holiness and perfection. And He came to that little town in Judea that night not “to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
Thank God for Jesus. Thank God for Christmas.
David Gunn is director of Regular Baptist Press.