George asked, ‘I don’t know what to get my Dad for Christmas. What do you give somebody who has everything?’
Harry replied, ‘A burglar alarm!’
Presents can be a real problem, when we want to give those we love something they really want. But what about God? What would he want from us this Christmas? What’s a suitable gift to celebrate the birthday of Jesus? What do you give someone who not only has everything, but who actually made everything?
The answer can be found Micah, a prophet who lived about 700 years before the birth of Christ: ‘He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.’ (Micah 6:8).
This Christmas, God is looking for the gift of lives characterised by justice, mercy and humility:=
Justice:- God is just – he is absolutely fair and righteous in all his dealings. Justice means ‘treating people right because you know God.’ In the Bible it means caring for the poor, speaking the truth and refusing to take advantage of the less fortunate. For us at Christmas, justice means doing right for those less fortunate than ourselves.
Mercy:- This speaks of sharing God’s heart by loving the unlovely even when they don’t love us back. How has God dealt with us this year? If He has forgiven us, then forgive others. Has God lifted us up when we were down? Then let’s seek to lift others. Where God has overlooked our faults, let’s overlook the faults of others. If God has been merciful to us this year, Christmas is a time to show mercy to others.
Humility: Humility is the opposite of pride. It reminds us that everything we have in life is a gift from God. Although some may have more or less than us, we can still thank God for what we have and do the best with what God has given me. This is the attitude we can reflect at Christmas, when we invest so much time in the presents we give.
God is looking to all these actions arising genuinely from our heart. As the carol says:
‘What shall I give him, Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I’d give him a lamb.
If I were a wise man, I’d do my part.
What shall I give him, I’ll give him my heart.’
Rev Paul Hardingham
With many peaceful blessings