How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!’” Romans 10:14, 15 NKJV.

Christmas

We tend to preoccupy ourselves with buying gifts, meeting friends, reuniting with relatives, and preparing for gastronomical feasts. Nothing wrong with these –in fact, they fill the air with Christmas cheer! Yet, a good question to ask ourselves this season is: How much of Jesus do we remember?

At an outreach a few days ago, I watched as young children, survivors of a fire that ravaged a barangay of 600 families, were given gifts and fed by youth volunteers. The children laughed, mindless of the spaghetti sauce splattered across their mouths and of the flies that landed on their scabbed arms and legs. The knowledge that today was a special day became evident as they hugged their newfound Kuyas (older brother) and Ates (older sister). These Kuyas and Ates were drenched in sweat, grinning from ear to ear.  They playfully danced with the children, sang with them, and carried them in their arms.

In a testimony given by one of the youth volunteers after the event, she shared a beautiful insight: “We gave Jesus just by being there.”  As I listened, the words hung momentarily in the air. We gave Jesus? Spaghetti, games, and toys were all good, but deeper than the generosity of food and play, was the reality that Jesus is the best gift a person can give to another.

Christ the Gift

In the first place, Christ was given to us by God our Father. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Christ was a precious gift; the bringer of everlasting life. Have we received this gift? Do we cherish Him as a gift from Heaven?

There is a thrill in opening a gift. I remember how, as a child, I would peep through layers of shiny, gift wrapping paper. I would try to dislodge the scotch tape that kept the gift hidden. I would count the days till Christmas. 10 Days more, 9, 8, 7… I’d impatiently think– Oh when, oh when would I open my gift? Then when Christmas finally arrived, my father would give the signal, and I’d rip the paper from off its sticky corners. I’d hold the gift high up in the air. And oh, how I’d squeal in delight!

Do we treat our gift from Heaven—Christ—with such excitement? Are we in amazement when our layers of ignorance rip away and we behold the beauty of knowing Christ? How much of Jesus do we know? How much of this gift have we held high in the air? How much of this gift do people see in our lives?

“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!’” This gift of Christ, which we carry in our hearts, is precious cargo. Our feet should be carrying the gift of Christ; our mouths should be ready to speak of Him; our actions should point to His reality.

So how about some REAL gift giving this Christmas? Are you ready? Jesus, the Precious Gift of Heaven, is the REASON for the season. He’s the best gift you can ever give to anyone.

First published in Saved.ph

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Janina Marie Rivera is the Editor-in-Chief of One Voice Magazine, a teacher of world literature, and a student of the Bible. She enjoys reflecting on life’s curve balls and plateaus. She resides in the Philippines, the country known for people who smile a lot.