The Un-Invited Guest of Honor

birthday-chair-cover   Imagine this scenario if you will: You are at a party and the place is filled with people! Everyone seems to be having a good time; laughing, singing, drinking, and just having a ball! All of your friends are there and many people you don’t even know! There is a chair sitting in the middle of the room, draped with decorations and festival ornaments. The chair is the one reserved for the guest of honor; the person whose life and birthday is the occasion for the festivities. But, wait a minute! The chair is empty! The guest of honor is nowhere to be found! You ask those hosting the party the whereabouts of the guest of honor and they return your inquiry with a puzzled look on their faces. Finally, they answer you; admitting that the guest of honor was not even invited! He was not invited because he wouldn’t have approved of much of the activity that was going on at the party in his honor! Then they tell you that not only was the guest of honor not invited, he wouldn’t have been welcomed!

Sounds like an incredible scenario, doesn’t it? But isn’t that exactly what happens every year with most Christmas celebrations? I mean, think about it! Do you really think Jesus would be invited, pleased or welcomed at most of our office Christmas parties? How dare we have parties of revelry and debauchery to celebrate the coming of the Holy Son of God? Would Jesus lift up a glass filled with eggnog and Hennessy to toast at our celebrations of His birth? And what about the gifts and the giving? In the biblical text, the Wise Men brought and gave gifts to Jesus; not to one another! What kind of birthday party is it when the guests give gifts to one another but not to the honoree?

Now, I hope you don’t think I’m trying to be the Scrooge or the Grinch who stole Christmas! I’m just simply saying that by and large, we celebrate a “Christ-less Christmas!” A “good Christmas” for most of us usually means we got the gifts we wanted, but it should mean the presence of the Christ in our lives! In the midst of the Black Fridays, Gray Thursdays, and Cyber Mondays, we’ve lost the real meaning of the season! Christmas is really about what money cannot buy: The coming of the Savior! Peace on Earth and good will to all men!

So if you don’t have spending money for presents and gifts for the ones you love, the best gift you can give them this Christmas is the gift of yourself! Give your love, time, and attention to your family! Give loyalty and dedication to your friends! Give the gift of the Gospel to those who have not personally met the Guest of Honor!

The Best Gift!

best gift ever

The best gift you can give this Christmas or at any other time cannot be found at a sale on Black Friday, Gray Thursday or even on Cyber Monday! On Christmas morning, you will not find it neatly wrapped in pretty paper and bows beneath the Christmas tree. It cannot be found in the electronics, toys, jewelry, or the hardware departments. In fact you will not find it in any store and it is not for sale at any price! What is the best gift you can give? The best gift you can give is yourself!

The Apostle Paul commended the church at Corinth in II Corinthians 8:5b by saying; “. . .but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God.” (NASB) Although this church was also in need, they gave beyond what they could afford in Paul’s effort to bring relief to the Jewish saints who were suffering in Jerusalem. The reason Paul gave for their unselfish sacrificial giving was because they first gave themselves to the Lord and then to the Apostles! Once we give ourselves to the Lord, all other giving is secondary.

So, what can you give the person who already has everything? You can give yourself! Give your time and your attention! Many times giving yourself is really not dramatic or expensive. You’d be surprised how valuable and appreciated a smile is to a person who is downcast and hasn’t seen one all day! Or what about even a quick visit to the nursing home to spend a few minutes with an elderly person just to talk or perhaps read a book to them? Even in your own home, you can give the gift of authentic family and love! The truth of the matter is this: Your children really don’t need that X-Box or the Play-Station II you just spent your hard-earned cash for! What they really need is you! They need you to spend some quality time with them to guide them, to teach them, to love them! Jared’s Jewelry might tell you all will be well if you went to Jared’s, and Kay’s Jewelry might tell you that every kiss begins with Kay’s, but actually your wife’s or your significant other’s real happiness begins and ends with you giving yourself! Your husband doesn’t need any more tools; wife, he needs you! Children, your funds may be limited and you might feel bad that you can’t get Mom and Dad an expensive gift. But the best gift you can give your parents is to honor them with your obedience! You should determine to make them proud by growing up into your fullest potential.

Well, the list could go on and on, but I hope you get my point by now. The best gift doesn’t cost you any money, but yet it is more valuable than all the money in the world because it will cost you yourself! The best gift you can give this Christmas or at any other time is the gift of giving yourself to the Lord and to others by the will of God! Be sure to give yourself this Christmas; it’s the gift that keeps on giving!