Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.
1 Chronicles 16:8, 10-11 NIV
“I love buying gifts for my grandchildren! It makes me so happy,” my friend exclaimed. I agreed that there is happiness in giving gifts to those we love. In our culture, we are especially mindful of the emphasis put on material gifts. Advent challenges us to focus on the true meaning of this season, preparing for the arrival of Jesus, God’s Son – the most important gift of our lives.
When Jesus was born and came to become one of us, to walk and live on this earth, God was making a way for us to have a lasting relationship with Him, coming near to us in the form of a baby. His name is Jesus, our Savior who is Christ, the Lord. While God knew the cost of giving us His Son, God was expressing His love to us through this gift.
Sometimes when I receive a gift, I want to tell others what I have received. When we recognize the gift of Jesus whom God has sent to our lives, we want to tell others and do what the scripture today declares – give praise to the Lord, proclaim His name, make Him known among the nations, sing to Him, worship Him, tell of His wonderful acts, glory in His name, seek Him and look to Him for strength.
The gift of joy is given by God – a joy deeper than the fleeting happiness of a material gift. It can’t be bought with money. Joy is an intangible gift of our faith in God. Let’s come to the manger to worship and honor the Christ and find joy and purpose in celebrating the greatest gift ever given. What non-material gifts can you give to someone you love today?
God, you are the giver of all good gifts. Help me to trust you during a time that can be so filled with material and worldly pursuits. Help us seek you first.