"Daddy, look the manger!" the young boy said.
"Is that Santa over there?" he asked pointing to one of the three wise
"No, son. They are the Three Kings bringing presents to Jesus." replied
"No. I guess you can say they are birthday presents. Remember we told
you that Christmas is really our celebration of the birth of Jesus."
The young boy paused for a moment seemingly satisfied with Dad's
answer. Then, as children will do, asked the unanswerable question that
warms your heart and often puts you in your place.
"Daddy, what are we giving Jesus for His birthday this year?"
Silence. Then drawing on the wisdom of the ages and the creative
parental genes that make us what we are, Daddy said..."I don't know.
Ask your Mom."
They left right after that. Peace and quiet returned to this great
sanctuary leaving me to think about what that child had to say. If I
were there that sacred evening drawn by the light of the star of
Bethlehem what gift would I offer Him?
I really had no idea. First, I can't begin to imagine kneeling before
Him in the presence of Joseph and Mary. But a gift from me to Jesus? What thing of value could I possible give to
This was a thought that overwhelmed me. I pride myself in having the
ability to at least come up with options, choices for people who share
their personal problems with me. But the thought of me having anything
that Jesus would want brought tears of sadness for I felt I had nothing
to offer Him.
So I did what the young child had done earlier. I turned to my Father
and asked..."Oh, God what could I possibly offer your Son as a gift? I
really have nothing of value."
I sat quietly and totally oblivious to the world. A small voice inside
my soul said "The same thing He had given you. His Life! Give Him your
life. Not sacrificed on a cross. But lived to honor Him."
I wept openly.
Here is my message to you celebrating the birth of Christ and to each of
you who value your faith whatever it may be. The greatest gifts
exchanged this Holiday Season will not be those found wrapped under your
tree or shared in sacred ceremony dedicated to your God. The greatest
gift of all, more valuable than gold, not traded on Wall Street, not
held in vaults for safe keeping...is YOU!
You are the greatest of all gifts given to this world, your family, and
your community. Your wealth is not in your checking account, but your
actions, your life, your spirit as you live a positive, passion filled
existence. That makes you valuable beyond measure.
My gift to you this Holiday is this message. Sorry it wasn't wrapped in
fancy paper. It was really much too big. It is about your life. Now