Yesterday was our 1st wedding anniversary. In accordance with our agreement, we were not celebrated with a romantic candle light dinner or something, yet we have decided to celebrate our wedding anniversary at the orphanage and held a Christmas celebration together with the orphans. Why we had an idea like that? Because we just want to celebrate our wedding anniversary with a slightly different way and coincides with Christmas day. We just want to share blessings and happiness to those who in need. For both of us, had a lunch with the orphans, played around and sang together with them was the most romantic moment. However, here I don’t want to talk about our celebration but I want to talk about something important that I got from it.
When the orphans made Christmas decoration contest, I found something that made me moved. I saw a little girl put a manger under her Christmas tree. The interesting thing is there were two babies doll in that manger. Why there were two babies? I wondered. “Why you put two babies in your manger?” I asked. Then she replied with innocent voice, “Ma’am, I do not have anybody but I have Jesus. I do not have anything as a gift because I’m poor. Therefore, I want to give myself as a gift to Him. Both babies it was me and Jesus. I thought I could accompany him and give a little warmth to Jesus. That’s all I can give.” To be honest, that little girl answer was jerking my heart and made me not able to hold my tears. What a very touching and heartwarming answer. I was thinking that God said the same words like that liitle girl: ” I want to give myself as a give to you. Both babies- It was you and Me. I thought I could accompany you and give you a little warmth” Then My husband said. “Today we have got precious lesson from this little girl”
When Christmas comes, we are always busy with preparations to celebrate Christmas. We are busy thinking about Christmas gifts for our friends and families. The question arises in my mind. If we have prepared the best Christmas gift to those whom we love, what about to the figure that actually we celebrate? Jesus! Whether we have prepared a gift for Jesus? And what kind of gifts that is pleasing Him? Before we answer those questions, I ask you to once again reflect on the true essence of Christmas.
Jesus came to this world with an important purpose. He came to save and redeem our sins. Based on the great God’s love, He came to rub out the world’s sins and paved the way to us into the salvation. This is not trivial. Let’s ponder who we are so that we are so precious in the sight of God to be saved? David once questioned this thing when he was mesmerized in awe as he looked at the beautiful sky.
What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?
(Psalm 8:4, NIV)
Have we made a big contribution so that God be indebted to us and should to pay us? Are we so holy flawless so that God feels guilty if He does not save us? No! Indeed, we are human beings who often doing sinful things, we still often disappoint God with all our behavior which not pleasing before God. Even so, in fact God still love us. Even though God created this universe so beautiful, we are the mankind still the most precious creations that created in His image itself. As written in Genesis 1:26 (NIV):
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
And we also crowned with glory and honor,
You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. (Psalm 8:5 NIV)
Therefore, our salvation was become an important God’s agenda and was based on His Greatest love to us, and He granted upon the humans. Grace is not a grace when given based on logrolling. It is precisely because we are not worthy but God still gave. That is called a grace. The Holy Bible describes this thing so beautiful and touching,
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NIV)
What a greatest love of God which is able to move His heart for sacrificing of Christ to replace all of our sins on the cross, pay in full our sins, and deliver us from the curse and bring salvation that supposed not be worthy for us to have. All of it is merely based on His Great love to us. Imagine how our lives today if Jesus did not come into this world and redeem our sins, break the shackles of sin and the curse, replacing us on the Cross and saved us from the death. How horrible our lives!
With very long and tiring journey the Magi from the east came to Jerusalem to worship the Baby Jesus. But their tiredness was gone and turned into the joy when they saw the star. (Matthew 2:2, 10 NIV) If we look at the previous chapter we can see what the angel said to Joseph through a dream,
She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us) (Matthew 1:21-23 NIV)
Let’s ponder to the meaning of Immanuel. The birth of Jesus to this world brought very big impact to our life journey and salvation. And that’s supposed to be the source of our joy in welcoming the Christmas day. If God gave a tremendous gift to us, what can we give to Him? Let’s to be honest how often we forget this. We often ask to God to fulfill all our wishes, but how often do we think about what we can give to God as the most beautiful gift and pleasing to God?
Now back to the previous question. Whether we have prepared a gift for Jesus? And what kind of gifts that is pleasing Him? In fact most beautiful gift we have to prepare and give to Jesus is our heart. That is a gift that can please God. God wants our open hearts, gentle, willing to be formed, trust in Him, and always truly love and worship Him. We may not like a little girl in the orphanage who did not have anything. We may be able to give very expensive gifts, but once again we have to remember that God does not want any of it. A heart that the fear to God, clean, ready to receive Christ to dwell in it, and also a heart that full of love for our fellow human beings, just as Christ loved us. This is actually God wants from us.
One day a scribe said, “To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” (Mark 12:33) Then what Jesus’ response?
When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”(Mark 12:34 NIV) So it is so clear through these verses we can see what the real gift we can give to Jesus. Heart that loves God and others, that’s a very beautiful gift to give to us in celebrating the birth of Jesus in the world. Furthermore Jesus also said:
‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’(Matthew 25:40 NIV)
The Lord Jesus does not require worldly gifts in the form of goods, jewelry, materials and or something like that. What will please Him is the love to God (love in vertically) and to each other (horizontally). Loves come from the heart. So heart that fully leads to Him and centered to His will, will become a very beautiful gift to Jesus.
My dear readers, Christmas is a moment in which we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ to the world as the form of greatest gift from the Father to redeem for our sins and bring we out of death to enter the eternal life. Let we sanctify ourselves, admit our sins, and ask God to forgive and cleanse our hearts. As God commanded,
Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong.
(Isaiah 1:16 NIV)
God is always ready to give forgiveness, even restoring joy when we turn from the way of evil and return to His ways. As God said,
“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)
Let us have a sacred heart as clean and white as a snow and eventually will be worth as a beautiful Christmas gift to Jesus our Lord. Amen.
My beloved readers, this post will be my last post this year. I will come back next year. I, my husband, and our little Andrew say “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year” to all of you. You all so precious for us and we are so blessed to have you all. God bless you.
Karina – Living by Faith
Whoever has the gift of serving should serve. Whoever has the gift of teaching should teach. (source)
Please look at this…