Thursday, December 24, 2015

"To: Jesus, with Love"

Amidst all of the shopping, wrapping, baking and partying you are doing ... STOP right now and take a minute to remember what all of this celebration is about. Do you remember? Right. Its Jesus. He is the reason we are celebrating. Or, rather, should be the reason. 

I will be honest and admit that I have been terrible about sending out Christmas cards and wishes for the last couple years. But, despite my failure to do so, we have still received quite a few cards from our more prepared, dedicated family and friends. While they are all beautiful and all have filled my heart with warmth, there was one in particular that I cannot let go of... 

Inside the card was a sheet of paper folder into a square. It was a typed letter and, before I fully opened it, I saw that it was signed "Love, Jesus Christ." Intrigued as to why someone would send me a long letter and claim it to be written by Jesus, I just had to read it. 

It began with Jesus talking about his birthday celebration and how he was watching everyone prepare for the festivities - all being done in honor of Him. It goes on to say that he watches everyone celebrate - with lavish feasts and many wrapped gifts. But yet HE wasn't invited. "I was the guest of honor and they didn't remember to send me an invitation." When it comes time to open gifts, HE didn't have any under the tree. "What would you feel if on your birthday everyone shared gifts and you did not get one?"

The letter went on to say that even though we seem to have left Jesus out of all of our celebrations, he has a bigger celebration and has extended his invite to us. 

This is the part, though, that really got me thinking...who puts a physical "To Jesus" gift under the tree? After all, most of the gifts that we give to Him are not material things. For example, love, sharing and spreading His story. But... what IF we were to get a present for Jesus and place it under the tree... what would you get for him? A watch? A book? Maybe some new shoes?

I went to bed that night and thought about that for a little bit. What on earth would I give Jesus? What do you give THE king as a gift?! What can I give someone who doesn't want anything but my heart? Obviously choosing a gift for someone is a personal choice... and forget about placing a monetary value on an actual gift to Jesus. And you cannot necessarily wrap a heart. 

This lead me to my important, yet very short list... Gifts such as... 

My time... choosing how I spend my time and who I spend it with. Using the time I have been given to make positive impacts in the world, even if only a small corner of it. 

My writing...something that I enjoy doing and think I am a notch above mediocre at... I can and will try to continue to dedicate my writing to spreading His love and message to the best of my ability. 

And last, but not certainly not least... 

My heart... every day I am growing as I focus my eyes on God. Some days are easier than others, but I am learning, trusting, sharing, praying, reading, and changing... because my Jesus lives. 

If I could wrap these gifts, I would place them under the tree and write "To Jesus" on the name tag. Fortunately for me, Jesus already knows what these gifts are and he even knows whether or not I give them to him! So instead, I think I will write a note, place it in a box, wrap it up as beautiful as I am able to and, in my best handwriting, write "To Jesus, with Love" on the name tag. What would the note read, you ask? I would simply say... "Look at me." I will be his gift. Just as you can be his gift, too. 

As you are getting ready for your Christmas celebration this year and start winding down to the big day... whether tucking the kiddos into bed, watching Christmas movies, or just sitting in the living room soaking in the magical glow of the Christmas tree lights... take a moment to think about the gift you have for the One who is the reason. What would be in the box you write "To Jesus" on? 

And for those of you who simply find yourselves following in the footsteps of the commercialized concept of Christmas, but don't actually believe...He is inviting you to HIS party... all you have to do is accept his invitation. 

Merry Christmas!!!

** In case you want to read the Letter from Jesus, you can find it here**




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