Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Gift

With Christmas a week away, now is as good a time as any to start my shopping.  Just kidding.  Gift-wise, I'm ready.  (Sort of.)

But I did want to take these next few days to share some thoughts I've been having this Christmas.  And I need to preface what's coming by asking this very important question:

Just what do you give the guy who has everything?

It's a question I must answer anew every year, as I have a niece and two nephews who are already buried past their heads in toys.  It makes Christmas a more diligent time for me, as I try to strike that middle ground between something they will enjoy but forget...and something they will remember but not enjoy.  It's a tough place to hit just right.

I'm not the only one who has had this problem.  I'm not the only one who has it this year.  I'm not the only one who will have it next year.  I get that.  It just seems monumental when you're the one stuck in the conundrum, the one who makes it a point to give good gifts and who agonizes over getting it just right.

Then I heard a song a week or so ago, one of my favorite Christmas songs, that took on new meaning this year as some of those words just broke through a moment of breath and hit me in an new way.  It's a song about another small player, another bit role, who found himself Christmas morning wondering what to get the guy who has everything.

He laments something like this:

"I am a poor boy, too....I have no gift to bring...that's fit to give our King..."

Yes, I'm speaking of the Little Drummer Boy, who at this time of year so captures our feelings of smallness and unworthiness to even fathom the baby in the manger.  To know what to do with Him.  To know what to give to Him.

This time of year, it's more than Christians waiting to celebrate the baby Jesus.  It's seekers, too.  It's people who maybe go to church once or twice a year (this being "once" of those occasions).  It's people who maybe never go to church.  It's people who are swept up in the holiday spirit, surrounded by reminders of what this coming holiday means, have been blessed to push through the presents and the paper and the pomp and see the quiet, still meaning those of us who know this Christ are celebrating, and who take a bold step into our churches.

One little step, hoping quietly, timidly, nervously, to find something of Jesus this Christmas.  The way I'd hope we all would.

And we do a fantastic job of celebrating Jesus this time of year.  We are awesome at telling His story.  We are terrific at talking about a pregnant virgin, a baby in a manger, a messiah materialized, a promise proven, a gift given.  But I think for many of our seekers, it's not quite enough.

Faced with all that Jesus would bring us, it's hard not to fidget in the pew thinking about what in the world we might have to offer Him.  What could we ever give to this Christ child?  What could we present that would be worthy of Him?

What do you give the God who has everything?

I think the Little Drummer Boy is onto something.  I think he got it just right.  You bring to God whatever you've got.  You bring to Him your own rhythm, a measure of you (music joke.  Laugh if you got it).  This Little Drummer Boy looked around and concluded, I just don't have a lot.  I am a poor boy, just like you, baby Jesus.  I don't have riches or finery or treasure to bring You.  I've got nothing worthy of who You are.

But I've got all of me, and You can have every bit of it.  This gift I give to You, I give it of myself.  I give it out of everything created in me to celebrate You.  I hope that's enough.


It's enough.  It is entirely enough.  It is everything Jesus wanted of you, Little Drummer Boy.  And it is all that He wants from us.

I don't think I could get away with drumming for my niece and nephews.  But I bet Jesus would love it.

It's intimidating to hear this child's story, to hear the birth of the Savior, and know how empty and hollow you are.  It's tough to embrace a God who came to give you everything when it seems so obvious you have nothing to give Him in return.  

What do you give the God who has everything?

You give Him you.  It's all you've got to give.  It's all He wants.

Without you, He's not that God.  He doesn't have everything.  He doesn't have you.

You are His everything.

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