Christmas Shopping

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 2:11

In the last month I’ve texted our boys three times to ask what they wanted for Christmas. I never got an answer. What’s up with that?

When I asked them about it, I heard the same answer from all three, “I have everything I need, and if I wanted something I’d just go out and buy it.”

Can you believe it? They didn’t have the decency to fabricate a list of “wants” in order to satisfy my need to put things under the tree that they really don’t need. How dare they!

Crazy, isn’t it?

I’ll still give a few small things to communicate my love for my boys, but I’m thinking instead about the gifts I could give to communicate my love for Jesus. It is, after all, his birthday. What would delight Jesus’ heart?

Along with our heart-felt worship and trust, I think perhaps the best answer to that question is found in a parable in Matthew 25:

“Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’”

What’s on Jesus’ Christmas Wish List? Feeding the hungry, giving a drink to the thirsty, showing hospitality to the stranger, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned. According to Jesus, that’s what would delight his heart.

There are still 21 shopping days left until Christmas. Does your Christmas Shopping List include something for Jesus?

Jeff Marian serves as lead pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville, MN

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