I remember the first year they bought gifts with their own money.
Our kiddos took their meager stockpile and headed to the mall with my parents while my husband and I were gone for our anniversary. And they bought a Christmas gift for me. And it pulled on the strands of my heart. Even before I knew what it was.
It got me thinking about gift-giving. And while I’m all for a simple Christmas and getting away from the trappings and focusing on the real meaning of Christmas, giving gifts is part of it all for me… for us.
God is an extravagant gift-giver. And while I completely understand the danger of falling into materialism and self-indulgence, there’s something about a costly gift, whether it involves the cost of time, or sacrifice, or money, or love:
The woman who broke her perfume vial at Jesus’ feet.
God’s temple dripping with gold and incense.
The wise men who came bearing gifts fit for royalty.
Lydia’s purple, Rahab’s sash, David’s feasts, Solomon’s bride, Esther’s beauty…
All had the potential to be used for good or evil.
All were gifts given in love, for Him, at a cost.
There is something to be said about love poured out. And in this culture of self-saturated-greed, my tendency would be to shy away from the presents.
But there is– present power and possibility and purpose in a gift given in love, in sacrifice.
When a need (or maybe just a…potential delight) is seen and fulfilled.
And isn’t that what He does?
Our Giver of good gifts?
First He meets our need–
Rescue, redemption, salvation.
And then He also gives delights–
Beauty, joy, friendship, creation.
“Delight is the most useless of things.
It doesn’t get the house clean or the bills paid.
Useless–like rainbows. Like Beethoven’s Ninth.
Delight…It finds excuses to ooze all over the place…
It asks different questions than duty.
Duty says, ‘I should.’ Delight says, ‘I want to.’
Duty is efficient. Delight tends to be anything but…
The Bible in entirety is a love story, a tale of unquenchable delight–
His for us, finally ours for Him.”
~Andree Seu Peterson
It’s easy to make the case for the nitty-gritty.
For those gifts of necessity…
Like underwear and socks.
(And even then, I might find dissenters.)
But to make the case for gifts of beauty?
For gifts of pure delight?
Less necessity and more pleasant-to-the-senses?
“It is because of what God says about trees that we have permission for artists as well as doctors.
‘And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food’ (Gen 2:9).
The merely practical man errs:
The value of things is not only in their utility, their beauty is as dear to God as any other function of the tree.
Art for art’s sake, to the glory of God, is born in Eden.”
~Andree Seu Peterson
Now, I’m all for cutting back and living within our means and I know how easily we become blinded by the wrapping paper, missing the true-substance.
But there is something precious in the “Magi’s gift”…
Long locks chopped.
Much given for a tangible gift of metallic beauty.
And so as I think about that first year, when our little ones raided their piggy banks to buy
something-that-I-knew-I-would-appreciate-because-of-its-love-cost, I also think of our Father’s most precious gift, that came at such a cost. And it shines holy light on this season of gift-giving.
May your gift-giving this season honor Him.
And may it point back to the Giver of all good gifts.
“…how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!”
~ Matthew 7:11
And today I want to share two gift opportunities with you.
The first is a set of 3 Christmas books from my friend Tricia Goyer.
Tricia is an incredible author who has published nearly 40 books and over 500 articles in many national publications. But what impresses me most about her is her love of adoption, her heart for teen moms, and her genuine relationship with the Lord. I’ve known her for several years now and over and over I have witnessed her deep faith and trust in God shine through. I am delighted to share these books with you and if you don’t happen to win them, they are available to purchase at the links below:
The second giveaway is our–
Christmas Blessing Giveaway 2014
(The winner will receive $410 in Paypal Cash)
Rules: Giveaway Rules: No purchase necessary. Must be 18 to enter. Void where prohibited by law. Open to US & Canada residents only. This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or associated by Facebook. By entering this giveaway, you agree to release Facebook, Woman to Woman Ministries and all participating bloggers of all liability. Contest ends at 12:01am EST on December 15, 2014. Winner is randomly chosen by Rafflecopter and will be emailed.