UCAN sharing: Perfect gift no fancy label
Scripture: Col. 2:9-10
For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isa. 9:6
Every year about this time many people run around trying to find the best gifts for family and friends. This can be stressful and overwhelming especially if you have a particularly demanding person to shop for. If a person really wants to give a love one a meaningful gift that is special it can cost them money and time as well as effort. In our spiritual life it is similar since we are imperfect it is not possible to give the best. This leaves man without hope for no matter what solutions and ideas man comes up with they in some way fall short of doing what is needed. Man has no ability to gift himself what he really needs. But God unlike man is not limited.
He knows exactly what each person needs. He sent that gift wrap in simplicity that for many may make the gift seem of less value. But the child born a long time ago in a no where village, in a manger is the greatest gift to all mankind. It is the perfect gift.
The problem with human gift giving is that it never really meetings a person’s needs. Everything wears out and needs to be replaced. Trends change. Technology advances. In a spiritual sense it is even worse. When man tries to do good to benefit others it is an empty gesture. On the outside it looks good but it has no lasting impact. Feed a person today, tomorrow they are hungry again. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t do these things but what we need to see is that man in all his efforts remains fallen no matter what we do.
When we ignore this fact what happens is emptiness. We try to fill a space that we can’t because we lack what goes there. This can be seen in the commercialism and rituals of holidays. It is an outward gesture for an
inward problem. Man lacks the power that makes real life happen. Many might disagree with this but if we
step back and look at the results of our efforts we will know that the world has not really changed. We need
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. Jn 1:14 In to man’s consistent failings and evils God sent out a hope that would change everything. Here lies what many Christians fail to really get a hold of. Before Jesus was born man was without a true hope and the world suffered dearly. It was a world in true spiritual darkness. War and violence was the norm and empires rose up out of the power of fear and might. Jesus was born in to a time where most people were oppressed somehow.
People lived in fear and life was a mighty struggle just to survive. Yet God choose to send the light of man in to this world for this very reason so that in the darkest of darkness man could know that the love of God was able to change man by giving new life. This is the message of the baby born in a barn in Bethlehem.
The birth of Christ was not an isolated event but rather a part of a far grander plan that God prepared long
before time began. For God sees things differently and holistically while we see things with a narrow scope. So God’s plan to save man is more than just a moment (Aka Christmas, Easter) it involves eternity and for us it is a total change of who we are. Yet for many Christians we fail to put all the pieces together and see the glory of God’s love for man.
Consider Col. 2:9-10, it states who the Christ is. Christ is all of God squeezed in to the body of a man. There are several reasons for God doing this but what is most important for us is that God choose to do this so that he could come to us. Man would never will be able to save himself but God can save man. This is not just a prayer said and finished but rather a complete change of person. For this to happen we needed Jesus to come and be the Lamb that was sacrificed. God did all that happened at Christ’s birth so that Jesus would live and die to bring man back to God the Father. The magnitude of what God set in motion is enormous and escapes most of us but what we need to see is that all was done so that we would know and come to God.
The idea that we can have a personal relationship with God is strange. In most religions the gods are cold and indifferent but in Christianity our God made the effort to come and be known. Why is this so important?
Because when a person comes to know that God is a loving, living God they must choose to receive him or not. If they receive Him then their sins are cleansed and they are born again. Now they are free to be with God and know him more and more. Verse 10 points to why Jesus being all God and man is so impactful to us. Jesus in us makes us complete. We need nothing else once we have Jesus. Many Christians struggle with need in their walk with Christ because they never believe that Christ is their all and all. Only when we truly embrace Jesus as our first love can we be free of ourselves. Being free of ourselves means being free of our fears and lusts.
Jesus is able to complete us because he is like us but He is God. He went through all we do and knows are
sufferings and desires yet in all he did he never sinned. It is this power and authority that when believed in and received in to one’s life brings us to all that God has for us which is life abundant. This is why Jesus as a gift to man is the greatest thing ever.
36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. Jn. 8:36 The freedom mentioned here covers it all. Jesus because he is totally God was able to do for man what man could never do for himself, redemption. We are free from all sin, fears, lust, guilt and shame that has bound man since the Fall. This frees us to draw near to God and know him in depth. Why then do so few do so?
The packaging of Christ lacks flashiness. Christ was not a public event that brought world leaders from all over to see a baby born in a gold cradle in a fancy palace. No, the birth of Christ brought the shepherds who at that time had a bad social standing. It was for the lonely, humble and needy that Christ came. We see even at Christ’s birth that God is calling all men on to him. No glitzy robes and trumpets just a babe in a manger. And yet this too is far more glorious than we can see. For God came down humbly and this is the God we can turn to. A God of unconditional love and grace yet all powerful. So the angels and all heaven rejoiced and if we grab hold of Christ in all his glory we too can learn to rejoice. The king has arrived.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Lk. 2:13-14
How will you respond to the birth of Christ this year? Same as last year? That child represents all our hopes for life. Decide today to seek this child king and know him. Rejoice at all he represents even if you don’t get it all.
Let your joy be seen to all that you believe that child born is your great gift from God. You are whole forever.
Song: Baby Boy by For King and Country