Guest post by my intelligent, handsome, and admirable husband: Bret Theis.
Christmas is, sadly, behind us now – along with all of its trimmings and traditions.
And the gifts.
Christmas gifts are, simultaneously, the most exciting and most stressful parts of the holiday!
When you’re a child, Christmas gifts are almost entirely one-sided. It’s so much more simple: “what am I going to get for Christmas?”
However, as an adult, you don’t think as much about what you’ll be getting. Instead, you fret about what you’re going to give. The range of emotions is endless!
You can go from excited, to nervous, to stressed, to anxious, to confused, and even to utter apathy! Christmas is just plain different as an adult.
But one thing that surprised me about enjoying Christmas as an adult is how I respond to the gifts I get. I’m assuming you’re like me and there’s at least a handful of things you might want for Christmas. Perhaps a new laptop. Maybe a new car even. Everybody would love a new car!
However, as an adult, when I receive gifts that I need…that’s a completely different experience.
When you’re a child and you receive a gift that you need (socks, a sweater, underwear), it’s an incredibly underwhelming experience. As a kid, socks just aren’t that exciting. Here’s a handy tip: if you want to know if your kid is going to be a good liar, give him socks for Christmas; if he acts excited, don’t trust him.
But as an adult, getting a gift you actually need is something to celebrate over. When you’re older, you have a much better idea about what you actually need versus the meaningless things you want. You have a bit of a better idea of what’s good for you. Since you’re actually supporting yourself, you know the things you need compared to the luxuries you’d like to have. So when someone helps you out by gifting you with something you actually need…it’s just sweet.
This is what makes Christmas so amazing.
God sees our needs.
God knows our needs.
And, most importantly, life-alteringly, mind-explodingly, reality-bendingly…God has provided for our greatest need in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Fact: Jesus is God.
Chapter 1 of the Gospel of John will fill you in on that reality.
Jesus, God Himself – the eternal Son, condescended Himself and became a human being.
The Timeless One entered into time.
The One who made flesh from the dust of the earth took on flesh Himself.
To give us the greatest gift anyone could ever receive.
Jesus grows up and lives a life of innocent childhood, awkward pubescent teenage years, adolescence, and – finally – adulthood – all the while, “he committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth” (1 Peter 2:22).
- Jesus was perfectly human and perfectly sinless. Everything we cannot be.
- Everything Jesus did was pleasing to God the Father. Everything we cannot do.
- Jesus willingly offered His own perfect life as a sacrifice for the forgiveness of the sins of those who would believe in Him. Everything we need.
Now, Jesus gives the gift of forgiveness of sins, right relationship with God, and eternal life to all those who come to Him by way of repentance from sins and trust in His work of salvation on the cross.
There are some who may tell you that the gift must be “accepted”. Or that you have to “open the gift” for it to “work”. I don’t think that’s true, and here’s why: When you’re an adult, and someone gives you a gift you need, you celebrate!
You tear off the wrapping paper, rip open the box, and cry, “Thank you! I needed this!”
If you don’t think you need Jesus…and, frankly, it doesn’t sound like something you really want…let me encourage you: stop thinking like a child. Grow up and realize your need for Jesus.
He loves you and he’s got a gift with your name on it.