What are You Giving for Christmas
By Jill Briscoe
“‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May it be to me as you have said.’” ~ Luke 1:38
Many of God’s people throughout time thought about God’s special gift of a redeemer, and offered their own gifts in thankful response. These gifts are not boxes decorated with tinsel, silver bells, and Father Christmases, but unique contributions to the tremendous story of God’s special gift. In quiet sadness Jeremiah contemplated the massacre of the infants. Hosea joyfully thanked God for the escape to Egypt. Micah let the world know where Jesus would be born. And Isaiah told us that God’s gift would come special delivery, a son born of a virgin. This son would be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Mary also prepared. She believed the anointed One must come and soon, and by her holy character made ready to acknowledge her Messiah and yield her allegiance to him. God couldn’t have a Christmas without a Mary. He needed more than just a devout person, someone who attended synagogue and said her prayers. The child Christ needed a body to live in!
When God became a baby, he knew he’d to compress,
His vastness, glory, all that power, into littleness.
A baby was the answer, but where to find the one,
The one who’d say, “Be born in me—
Oh, let me bear your Son?”
Would Mary be the earthly vehicle for God’s divine action? “Now wait a minute,” the devil must have whispered to Mary. “You’ve got everything going for you –
You’re engaged to be married, what will people say,
When you say that your baby is conceived a new way?”
Just imagine their startled incredulity,
When you say so sincerely, “God gave it to me!”
But Mary offered the gift of her body. She whispered, “I am the Lord’s servant; may it be to me as you have said.” (Luke 1:38)
Christmas is a season for giving. The prophets gave their promises. Elizabeth gave her praise. Mary gave her body. Joseph gave his reputation. The innkeeper gave his stable, the shepherds, their time. And God gave his Son. Tell me, do you see your present there?
What are you giving for Christmas?
Lord, when I think of the prophets, of Mary, and of so many others who serve You so sacrificially, any gift I may have seems so small and useless. But I praise You that I am created with a life to give You. Help me see the opportunities given me each day to give you the gift of my life. Amen.