The Gift: Pay it Forward
As Christmas quickly approaches, I am constantly aware of the importance of relationships, and the meaning of the word “gift.” Everything surrounding Christmas from all sources secular to religious, is focused on some sort of gift giving.
It seems that giving gifts means something to everyone; but why? Why is this particular time important, as opposed to the rest of the year, to do something for someone else?
The quick answer is self-serving. We do not want to look bad or we feel socially obligated to give something. Or we expect that the other person will give us something, if we give them something. Some feeling blessed by God want to “give back” some of what God has given them.
The long answer is a bit complicated. I have concluded that regardless of why one gives, giving is about a longing for relationship–however distorted by sin– and that ability to relate is a gift from God.
God, before the beginning began, was in perfect relationship with Himself. He did not need us for that. It was because of His great love for relationship, however, that He created people.
God put the longing for relationship in our hearts, so that we could worship (love and adore) Him. He wanted us to enjoy the same fellowship that He had with the Trinity. It was an unselfish gift.
Our choice to reject that gift, by dong exactly what God asked us not to do was a rejection of the relationship as well. It told God that we didn’t want His gift.
What was God’s response? Well, He sent Christmas. He put on human flesh and came to Earth in the form of a little baby, yet another gift. His love for us, and a desire to continue a relationship with us compelled Him to do it. He gifted us at Christmas, so that He could gift us at Easter, by dying for our sin and making a way to restore the relationship broken in Eden. (2Cor. 5:17-6:13) He did not wait for us to come to Him. He made the reconciliation happen. God wants us to love relationships, especially the one with Him. He also wants us to love others with relationships that are similar in quality to the one He gave us. (Matt 22:35-37). God’s gift to us is His love and His community through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He wants us to give our love back to Him and extend it to others sacrificially as He did with us.
See Ya Next Time