Happy Advent everyone. Or at least I hope you are able to find some happiness in the hustle and bustle of trying to find the perfect gifts for your loved ones.
I was trying to put together an Advent Bible study for my kids surrounding the concept of giving gifts and why we do it and what it represents. The gist of my lesson is that there’s a difference between earning a reward and getting a free gift. We are sometimes blessed by God for our actions, but on a greater scale we are freely given his love and salvation regardless of what we deserve.
Yes, the Magi gave gifts of reverent worship to baby Jesus and we follow that example in giving gifts to each other. But I think God wants us also to remember the feelings we get when we give and receive presents.
When we get something wonderful, we are filled with thankfulness and appreciation towards the gift giver. When we give something that the other person really enjoys, we’re filled with even more joy simply because we love to see them so happy.
Now imagine how wonderful God must feel when he blesses us with his love. When we really reflect upon what he did to come to the world, humble himself, die for us, and rise again, there’s no words that can be used to express what appreciation we have for him. Likewise, I think it fills the Lord up with joy to see us really embrace the gift that cost him so much but is bestowed upon us for free.
Tis better to give than to receive. But when you receive, the best gift is to show the giver how much you love them for it.