As a kid, I remember wrapping a gift for a friend in some newspaper comics right before the party. The party was going to be at McDonald’s and Happy Meals were all the rage back then. We played pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, and that was the first cake I ever saw that was made out of ice cream! Those were the days, right? As a kid, just getting invited stirred up so much excitement because I knew I would get to play some fun games, eat some yummy food and treats, and watch my friend’s smile grow bigger with each new gift that he opened.
Well, I am all grown up now, but this coming Sunday on December 25th, we get that incredible opportunity to celebrate a very special day on the one day that is already set apart and dedicated for congregational worship. Will there be ice cream cake or pin-the-tail? Not likely, but there will be a chance to celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus when He incarnated His way into our world to take on flesh and human likeness. And instead of bringing a physical gift (which God has no need), consider bringing yourself with a heart of worship as a gift. Romans 12:1 says: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” He does not want some thing that you can give to Him- He just wants YOU. How do we know this? Because He already set the example. Although He is the provider of “every good and perfect gift” (James 1;17), the greatest gift He ever gave us was Himself on Christmas morning – breaking into our brokenness, shining into our darkness, and fulfilling long-foretold prophecies of a Messiah who would save His people.
Don’t get me wrong- Christmas day can and should be spent enjoying time with family and friends, and often these holidays are rare opportunities to see the people we are closest to and appreciate quality time with them, and you will definitely have time for that. But you are invited to a glorious birthday party for an amazing God, and I cannot think of a better way to show Him honor than by joining with the body of Christ to celebrate together saying:
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
“Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?”
“Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay them?”
For from him and through him and for him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.
John Chung is a Ruling Elder at GRC.