Thanksgiving is over and now the western world has turned its attention onto Christmas. Much of what I overhear in stores these days is, "How many days left??" or "How am I going to get everything done?" Worries over what to serve and who to invite, gifts to give and expanding waistlines are as much or more the topic of choice than the beauty and joy which this season ought to inspire.
One of the most common questions I hear is, "What do you want for Christmas?" The answers are many and varied and, as I listen to them all, I cannot help but reflect on the fact that I have already been given what I want. Beyond temporal gifts, beyond time spent with family and friends, beyond traditional enjoyments of rolled-out cookies and hot cocoa, I have been given the most blessed and glorious gift of all time.
The wretch, the once-unrepentant sinner who wallowed in the muck and mire of sin's ugliness, by the blood of Christ has been transformed, made new, cleansed, washed, purified, sanctified, justified, and made holy! I could want nothing besides and yet God goes beyond this gift and gives me infinitely more!
God gives me everything necessary for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). He gives me unrepentant love (John 3:16). He gives me hope and joy and peace (Romans 15:13). He gives me access to God (Romans 5:2). He gives me an eternity spent with Christ - an eternity spent with the one "Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification" Romans 4:25.
All this He has given me. All this is mine!
What an incredible thought! This salvation, this love, this eternal hope, this purpose, this life in Christ is mine! It is mine to own, to revel in, to sing about and proclaim. It is mine to speak of and give to lost and hurting souls. It will never break, tarnish, become outdated, need those dreaded batteries which are never included or require "some assembly" for which one needs an architectural degree to complete. For all eternity, these glorious gifts, free for the taking, are mine!
What praises we ought sing to the greatest giver of gifts ever known!