Christmas has become synonymous with gift giving. Finding the perfect Christmas gift for a loved one can be both daunting and intimidating. I have wrestled significantly with questions such as what do they want? What do they need? And of course, will they like it? With regards to my wife, Rachel, I inevitably explore stores and Amazon, of course, for the perfect gift that will surprise her, make her exude great excitement, and most importantly, let her know how much I love her.
When deciding what to give my wife each Christmas, I take the time to listen for hints and observe items she looks at while walking through stores. It would be easy to simply gift-wrap a gift card to a store or website, but how much thought and love does this express? In 2014, over $32 billion were spent on gift cards for Christmas. The New York Times reported that nearly one-third of gift card recipients will not use their gift card. This suggests that we have lost the art of gift giving! It is my intention to make sure I give my wife the perfect gift and the best gift possible; I want her to know how loved she truly is.
Two thousand years ago, God gave His gift to humanity. Isaiah 41:14-20 shares that His gift will be able to help us, to grant us victory, to answer us, to be our provider, and to bless us. Additionally, Psalm 21 says that His gift will be able to give us the desires of our heart, to give us life, eternal blessings, joy, and protection. The gift from God arrived miraculously in the form of His Son, Jesus.
Jesus was the gift God chose. This was His way of showing love. The love of God is the most profound gift of the Bible. The love of God for His children was visibly demonstrated through Jesus’ death on the cross.
Every expression of love is at the core a question. When I say the words “I love you” to my wife, I am making a statement with the hope of eliciting a response. The question of love is “I love you – do you love me?” When God provided His Son as a gift to humanity He was making a strong statement of love. Jesus is God’s grand “I love you.” The cross is the question: “Do you love me?”
While we may be quick to answer this with a yes, our love, like a gift, ought to elicit a response. When I take the energy, time, and invest the money into a gift for my wife, I am anticipating a response. Jesus operates similarly. When He expresses His love in the form of His life, He is asking for a response. What should our response be? Worship. Worship is not just something you do; it is something that comes from deep within your heart and soul. It is a love so intense that it cannot be contained and must be expressed. Worship is a yearning to be with the One who has “granted us the desires of our heart and has not withheld the request of our words” (Psalm 21:2).
Throughout the Psalms, David expressed worship and exemplified what it meant to worship. “Be exalted, O Lord, in your strength; we will sing and praise your might” (Psalm 21:13). Worship leads us into God’s presence. It is this response to His expression of love that God desires. This kind of worship flows from a heart that is filled with anticipation, excitement, and expectancy.
This Christmas season be intentional in expressing your love to a God who gave the greatest gift of all: Jesus, our Savior and our soon coming King.