Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Ultimate Gift

The Ultimate Gift, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
As we wrapped up our semester at h2o, we took a look at several responses to the gospel.

In the stories of the Incarnation, we see a wide variety of responses to the birth of Jesus.
Herod and those in power, do everything within their power to see Jesus killed. The Magi come from a faraway land to worship the King, because several hundred years before, somebody told their people about the future birth of the messiah. The shepherds also journey to worship and celebrate his birth. The magi and the shepherds weren’t exactly considered the “in” crowd, but yet, these are the folks who come to worship the King of Kings. Mary and Joseph, respond with faith that is amazing, mary pondered in her heart the comments and the worship demonstrated by others toward her son. Joseph demonstrated radical faith when he trusted circumstances that defied all physical and biological laws—a virgin birth.

And then there’s us. What do we do with the birth of Jesus. I think the birth of Jesus presents us with some major challenges. I mean, everybody in the era of Jesus had a response to his birth—and there is so much this birth teaches us about God and about his kingdom and about our own hearts.

When we consider the Christmas holiday, it provides a great time to take stock of our life and who or what we are living for. Jesus is Lord at birth, and we each have a response to this simple truth. How we respond to Jesus says a lot about what we really believe about Him and what we believe about ourselves. You see, every day we have a choice—we can live for the glory of our own kingdoms or we can lay down all for Him.

If we are honest, much of our lives are spent building our own kingdoms with little consideration for His. We’ve become a world of exploiters—we exploit creation, and we exploit each other. When we live for our own kingdoms we bring conflict, abuse, addiction, shame, disorder, and confusion.

When it comes to Christmas presents, God gave us the ultimate gift—Himself. And he presents us each with an opportunity to consider. What could we give him in return? Those who were far away and those who were near brought the best of what they had.

Wise men and women who still seek Him will find Him. When you find Him, bring the best gift that you can—the gift of your heart!

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