This is the first year they bought gifts with their own money.
Took their own meager stockpile and headed to the mall with my parents while my husband and I were gone this past weekend for our anniversary…
And they bought a Christmas gift for me.
And it pulled on the strands of my heart.
And I don’t even know what it is yet.
I tend to show love in service and gifts–
If I want to show you that I care about you and love you and I’m thinking about you…
That will translate into time spent on something that might help you out,
Or– on a gift that shows I know you and what you might need or like.
It got me thinking about gift-giving tonight.
And while I’m all for a simple Christmas and getting away from the trappings and focusing on the real meaning of Christmas,
Giving gifts is part of it all for me…
God is an extravagant gift-giver.
And while I completely understand the danger of falling into materialism and self-indulgence…
There’s something about a costly gift,
A gift that actually costs something.
Whether it be time, or loss, or money, or… love.
The woman who broke her perfume vial at Jesus’ feet.
God’s temple dripping with gold and incense.
The wise men who came bearing gifts fit for royalty.
Lydia’s purple, Rahab’s sash, David’s feasts, Solomon’s bride, Esther’s beauty…
All had the potential to be for good or evil.
Gifts given in love, for Him…
At a cost.
There is something to be said for love poured out.
And in this culture of self-saturated-greed,
My tendency would be to shy away from the presents.
But there is–
present power and possibility and purpose in a gift given in love…
When a need (or maybe just a…potential delight) is seen–
And fulfilled in love.
And isn’t that what He does?
Our giver of good gifts?
First He meets our need–
Rescue, redemption, salvation.
And then He also gives delights–
Beauty, joy, friendship, creation.
“Delight is the most useless of things.
It doesn’t get the house clean or the bills paid.
Useless–like rainbows. Like Beethoven’s Ninth.
Delight…It finds excuses to ooze all over the place…
It asks different questions than duty.
Duty says, ‘I should.’
Delight says, ‘I want to.’
Duty is efficient.
Delight tends to anything but…
The Bible in entirety is a love story,
a tale of unquenchable delight–
His for us,
finally ours for Him.”
~Andree Seu Peterson
It’s easy to make the case for the nitty-gritty.
For those gifts of necessity…
Like underwear and socks.
(And even then, I might find dissenters).
But to make the case for gifts of beauty?
For gifts of pure delight?
Less necessity and more pleasant-to-the-senses?
“It is because of what God says about trees that we have permission for artists as well as doctors.
“And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food” (Gen 2:9).
The merely practical man errs:
The value of things in not only in their utility,
Their beauty is as dear to God as any other function of the tree.
Art for art’s sake, to the glory of God, is born in Eden.”
~Andree Seu Peterson
I’m all for cutting back and living within our means and I know how easily we become blinded by the wrapping paper, missing the true-substance-sought-after-contents.
But there is something precious in the “Magi’s gift”…
Long locks chopped.
Much given for a tangible gift of metallic beauty.
And so tonight…
I think about our little ones,
Who raided their piggy banks to buy something-that-I-know-I-will-love-because-of-its-cost.
I think of our Father’s most precious gift.
That came at such a cost.
And it shines holy light on this season of gift-giving.
May your gift-giving this season honor Him.
And point back to the giver of all good things.
“…how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” ~ Matthew 7:11