What Gift to Bring?

When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

hey hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished,…                      Luke 2:15-18 (NLT)

When they [the Magi] saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.                     Matthew 2:10-11 (NLT)

I have heard many parents remark this year that they would like their children to grasp the concept of giving instead of getting during this season of Christmas. I have wondered how many parents are going to carry through on their desire to teach. For to teach this concept, they will have to show by example. It won’t be just cutting back on how many gifts are under the tree per child or how much is spent on each child. It will be including the child on a giving expedition. To be a success and make a lasting impression on the child (and the parent!), there will have to be some prayerful thought as to what is the pull on this family’s heart strings? To whom does God want you to serve? If there is not some prayerful thought to this, then you might as well just pull out your wallet and toss $1 into the can on the way into Wally-World. Remember: Jesus was impressed with the widow who gave her all than the rich who gave out of their wealth (Luke 21).

The Magi, or Kings from the East, gave extravagant gifts. They gave much because they had much. They could have just sent their gifts by servants. Their real gift was that they gave their time. They gave something beyond price. They humbled themselves and came from afar to honor the King of kings.

The shepherds had nothing to give. They, too, gave themselves. They, too, humbled themselves and came and bowed to the One that made angels sing, “Glory!”. Maybe there was a little drummer boy among them.

What is God saying to your family? “Take some blankets to the homeless shelter”? “Go to the soup kitchen and serve Christmas dinner”? “Shop for the children on the Angel Tree”? (Yes, you may have to explain to younger children that the toys/clothes are not for them!) “Get 2-3 other families and go caroling and take along some bags of homemade cookies”?

If you give from your heart, then God will be honored and pleased. Let us give our children a legacy that will play forward for generations to come.

Let us learn from The Little Drummer Boy.

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