Listen to this devotional:
John 11:25 – Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live." (NRSV)
I have knitted a few sweaters, socks, and such for family and friends to open as Christmas presents. I am a steady customer at the wool shop, and while shopping, I meet other grandmothers selecting wool for baby shawls, afghans, and so on, matching colours and making sure enough wool is purchased.
I hear often how well-liked the items are and how they start conversations.
A sweater with a chest pocket was a big favourite for a seven-year-old grandson. He wears it to Sunday School, and, in the pocket, he keeps his envelope for collection. The sweater matches him perfectly. I have enjoyed the gift of giving.
But God is best known for the gift of giving. He is the original Giver.
Matthew 5:45b – Your Father in heaven … makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. (NRSV)
But His best gift was a baby, Jesus, wrapped in swaddling clothes. There was no fancy baby-wear in sight, but there were angels and shepherds, a star and wise men.
Angels were watching the sleepy baby. Mary's heart filled with awe as she attended to her baby that was named Jesus: "the one who saves".
The Spirit of God dwelt silently above the holy family around the manger, and peace, goodwill to men greeted mankind in their darkness.
Likewise, we can be assured that God is watching over us, knowing what lies ahead.
God willed His Son to be the best gift of all to mankind. He wants all to know the One who saves: Immanuel, God with us — His gift to settle decisively the divide of sin between man and God. Surely He purchased with His life and death and resurrection a new relationship with God. God has given us all a choice to receive Jesus as His gift.
God gave us His favour in Jesus! Let us journey to Bethlehem to see for ourselves and receive the marvellous thing God has done: a beautiful Saviour in a lowly manger! Surely we give our hearts in obedience to Him as our gift for Jesus.
Prayer: Beautiful Saviour! God of creation! How marvellous are Your ways, raising us a gift of salvation — a light unto our path! Thank You, Jesus! Amen!