Receive the perfect presence this Christmas

December 18, 2018

You’ve done your best. You searched. You did investigative work a P.I. would be proud of. You survived long lines and short tempers.

Or, maybe you just gave money. But by now the presents are wrapped and ready to be received. You wonder what reception your present will get:

A polite, “Oh. Well, thank you.”

A puzzled, “Wow. What is it?”

A truthful, “Of all the presents I’ve ever been given this is definitely one of them.”

An insincere, “You shouldn’t have!” (I’ve always thought about just saying, “You’re right!” and taking it back.)

A thrilled, “That’s just what I was hoping for!”

Or even a rude, “I don’t need that. But I can exchange it for something I do want!”

People respond to your gifts in a variety of ways. And most likely you do the same. There are some presents you’ve received in the same manner you’d receive an Oscar: “You like me, you really like me, you really, really like me!”

Others you’ve received have been lost in the back of the closet or re-gifted as white elephant gifts.

One gift you are being offered this Christmas season is the presence of Christ in your world. How will you receive him?

That first Christmas some saw no need for him. There was no place for his family in the inn. Had they been celebrities, there would have been room.

Others, like Herod, refused him and shut him out of his life. Still others were merely too busy to receive his presence.

Like a gift stored in plain view but overlooked because one is too busy to notice, many missed his coming.

But there were those who gained a front-row seat for this star-studded spectacular.

The shepherds went from counting sheep to greeting the savior because they heard. Away from the sounds of the streets, away from the clamor of the consumers, they had time to hear God’s invitation.

Joseph and Mary were obedient to God, enduring whispers and ridicule to give this baby a family within which to live.

The wise men pursued his presence. They traveled great lengths to find him.

And an old man named Simeon who had watched and waited for the child embraced him.

And you can, too.

Want to receive the gift of his perfect presence today?

Then do what they did: h ear, o bey, p ursue and e mbrace. You’ll find your heart filled with Christmas hope.

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