Giving the Greatest Gift

I’m sure you are well on your way to finishing your Christmas shopping, right?!

This annual tradition of gift giving in USAmerica can be broken down into five phases.  Phase 1: If your family is like mine, I am sure you have made your lists and checked them twice.  You must make sure no one is left out!  Then comes Phase 2: the selection of the gift for each person on the list.  Kids are usually easy because they come to us with their “wants.”  But other folks (like parents) and can be more difficult.  I know some people actually make a list of items they are going to buy and then they go get them.  Still others wait until they are standing in the middle of the Mall or Target or cruising the web and let the inspiration of the moment carry them to the perfect gift.  Regardless of how Phase 2 comes together, Phase 3 is the actual process of gathering of the gifts.  This is probably the phase most people dread!  Phase 4 is the boxing and wrapping of said gifts followed by Phase 5 (my personal favorite), the giving of the gifts.  Seeing the smile hearing the squeals makes it all worth it.   And in the case of adults it’s more along the lines of “I love it!”  Or, “How did you know?”  Or even, “You shouldn’t have!”  One thing you can count on is that the joy of gift giving, in the end, is priceless.

Let me encourage you, this Christmas season, to consider adding ONE more “person” and one more “gift” to your list.  The gift itself is priceless and it is not a thing, it is a person…Jesus.  And the person is not any one specific person but a category of people…the Lost.  As we celebrate the holiday that is named for Jesus Christ himself, we must remember that not everyone in this world knows him…has been given the gift of Jesus.  My church participates in a network of over 44,000 churches and each Christmas we collect a very special offering, a gift you could say, to fund the work of telling the lost people of the world about Jesus.  Our network supports over 5,000 missionaries around the globe and the money given to this offering goes 100% to these missionaries and their work.  Nothing is wasted.  This offering is called the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering named for a remarkable missionary lady of the same name who gave over 40 years of her life in the late 1800s and early 1900s working in China.  When I give to the Lottie Moon Offering what I am really doing is giving the greatest gift of all, Jesus, to those who need him most, the lost.

I am sure your church, regardless of its affiliation has some similar way to give Jesus to lost people.  So in all your gift giving this Christmas, please don’t forget to give the greatest gift of all.  Remember, Jesus really is the reason for this season.

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