THE BEST GIFTS

…they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Matthew 2:11 (NIV)

It’s that time of year—when we’re all thinking about the gift that will bring a smile to a co-worker’s face or warm the heart of a loved one.

I fondly remember when my children were small and excited to do their Christmas shopping. We went to the five-and-dime store so they could make their secret purchases with money saved from their tiny allowances. And every year, my son would sign his card to me with, “Love always.” All of those little gifts—nutcrackers and angels and wooden figures—became the basis for a rather large collection that fills the secretary desk in our central hallway every Christmas.

When my daughter went away to college and got a part-time job, she came home bringing me a Christmas gift in a jeweler’s box. I opened it to find a delicate gold ring with a miniscule diamond. The note said, “This was the biggest diamond I could afford to buy for you. Love…”

These gifts from another time are among my greatest treasures, not because of their material value but because they came from my children. To me, they represent precious hearts who gave sacrificially to express their love.

I wonder what my Father think about my gifts? Does he cherish them? Do they show him how much I love him and that I’m giving him my best? Or am I trying to squeeze worship in with everything else that occupies me at Christmas-time? Can I turn off the TV or put aside the paper or my current interest to spend time with him? Am I giving him my finest or does he get the leftovers of my time, my attention, my energy, or my love?
Father and giver of all good and wonderful gifts, I love you with my whole heart. But I need your help. There are so many distractions and chores that draw me aside. Please, stay at the forefront of my thoughts, my words, and my actions so that everything that flows from me reflects my love for you and yours for me. Help me to bless you more this year than ever before. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

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