Nothing to Give

"...the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."      ~Romans 6:23
A few years ago, I was leading a family ministry on Saturday nights in our previous church. “Family Time Bible Study” engaged everyone from the rambunctious preschoolers to the more mature adults, because we all worked together to spontaneously act out dramatic Bible events. One such preschooler, Sam, was always eager to be “in on the action” and as Christmas approached, he was especially excitable. Not only would we act out the story of the Savior’s birth, but there would be a Christmas party to follow, and he knew that all the families were chipping in together to surprise me with a special gift. Knowing young Sam would struggle to keep a secret, his mother told him to pretend they had nothing to give me. A few days before our Christmas event, I ran into Sam, who looked up at me and loudly proclaimed, “Mrs. Burma, we have NOTHING for you!” His mom just shook her head and smiled.
The big night came, and we proclaimed the Christ child’s birth, “Family Time” style, our fragrant offering to the Lord that night. No one shouted the message or sang the songs louder than Sam. The families then produced a large gift for me, and Sam stood directly at my feet as I opened it, squinting his eyes and cocking his head from side to side curiously as he looked up at me. I squealed with delight as I unveiled a Kitchen Aid mixer! WOW! I was speechless, touched by the love and generosity of these brothers and sisters in Christ. But Sam just continued to stare up at me. With a look of disappointment on his face, finally he whispered, “My mom told me this gift would make you so happy that you would cry.” Sam hugged me and continued, “Why aren’t you crying?”
The tears fall now as I recount this special moment when one little guy had much more than “nothing” to give me. Sam gave me a far greater gift than my mixer. The same boy whose childlike faith enabled him to shout, “Joy to the World!” also allowed him to whisper those words of love to me. Wanting to give me something that would make me happy – so happy I would cry – was his greatest desire that night. Sam’s gift of love was also a fragrant offering before the Lord, as Sam “walked in love” toward me. ("Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." ~Ephesians 5:1-2)
Sam - ready to celebrate Christmas!
While we may pretend that we have nothing to give others, we have, in fact, the greatest gift of all to share. The Child whose birth we celebrated that night - whose birth we prepare to celebrate once again this Holy Season - would grow up to be our Lord and our Savior. The very gift of God, given to us in Christ Jesus! As we give others the Good News of eternal life in Christ - as we “walk in love” - the sweet aroma of Christ is spread. A fragrant offering, indeed!

No comments:

Post a Comment