Have you ever asked for an irrational present for Christmas? A pony while living in a townhouse or maybe a Red Ryder BB Gun at age 7? I remember when I was younger the two irrational gifts I asked for Christmas [for more than one year] were a shed and a full scale banana costume. We didn’t have a basement and I thought it made sense for my parents to buy me a shed for the backyard where I could house my drum kit and start the most legendary garage shed band. Not thinking about the fact that 1. a shed would be expensive 2. take up a ton of room in a backyard and 3. be either too hot or too cold to be in most of the year. That is why we have parents; to be older wiser and able to see the whole picture when we cannot.
God is called our heavenly father and He can see the big picture of our lives and what we need. Advent is an amazing time to remember the greatest gift that was ever given in Jesus Christ. Romans 6:22-23 tells us of this gift, “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The Jews were looking for the messiah to be a great military leader and worldly king that would reign here on earth. God knew want was needed and wanted to save His people from oppression eternally and not just here on earth.
As we think about presents this time of year we ought never to forget about the ultimate gift-giver of our Heavenly Father. “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” [Matthew 7:9-11] He has given us the greatest gift and continues to bless us continually through the Holy Spirit given us. Let us continue to seek hard after God and the blessings that have been given to us. Don’t forget to open those spiritual gifts that have your name on them!
Dan Ulrich is a former camper and longtime volunteer staff member who serves on the board of directors and works as a youth director and young adult pastor at Sicklerville UMC.
For more devotions, pick up a copy of our Advent devotion book, Beyond the Trappings, available online.