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The Gift and the Giver
by Rey Diaz
Posted on Tuesday, December 27, 2016
I love Christmas season, but I will confess: I find the whole idea of gift-giving quite challenging. I stare at my shopping list and ask the same questions each year.

“What do I get?”

“Will they like it?”

“Are they allergic to chocolate?”

People tell me, “Just get them what you would want.” But it’s not that simple, because my wife would not enjoy a football and I wouldn’t enjoy flowers. And it’s not just what people would like or dislike that makes it difficult for me. It seems everyone has rules about Christmas gifts.

One present is always from Santa.

Stockings are from the kids.

Gifts have to be of equal value, just to be fair.

There are minimum and maximum spending limits.

I honestly feel like I need a graphing calculator just to figure it out.

We all know gifts are inherently risky. They don’t last. They are short-lived. They can be rejected. They can cause fights. They can end up costing us more.

Yet, despite all of that, we all give. We all receive. And we love it! There is no better feeling that giving a surprise gift to a child. And there’s no better feeling that receiving a surprise gift from a loved one.

Why? Why do we give, knowing it’s a mixed bag of blessing and frustration? I believe that it is because we were created in the image of God, and God is the ultimate gift giver.

Look at how God’s gift-giving heart is revealed in the Bible.

Matt 1:21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

Luke 2: 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.

He is the Gift and the Giver. At Christmas we celebrate that God gave himself. He was the gift. And he was the Giver. Here are just a few of the gifts he has given us:

Joy – Christmas has become synonymous with joy. We sing Joy to the World. We talk about the Christmas spirit. It a joyful time, and that’s interesting because the first Christmas was anything but a joyful time. It was a desperate time. A dark time. A time of oppression. Jesus shows up, and everything changes.

Forgiveness – Christmas is when Jesus came on a rescue mission - to forgive us all our sin. We are sinful and broken people. Only a perfect sacrifice would be suffice. Here he is – Jesus.

Hope – At Christmas we our reminded of hope. Even in the darkest of times, we have a reason to hope.

This is what the Gift and the Giver does in our lives, in our families, in our communities, and in our world. He gives us a deep satisfying joy. He forgives us of everything. Forever. He provides hope in hopeless situations.

There can be no love without sacrifice. The Gift is the Giver.

On Sunday, we celebrated Christmas in all of our programs around the world. Orphans and vulnerable children who are in times of sadness, who need restoration, and who need hope all find it in Jesus.   They were showered with gifts and cake and candy and everything else that goes with a Christmas party. I saw pictures of children experiencing joy - true and everlasting joy. Though the gifts were fun, it’s not because of them that they feel the joy, but because we are reflecting the heart of God. They are sensing something greater and bigger behind the gifts. They are sensing that God is with us. Many for the first time, are experiencing hope that will carry them towards the future.

So my encouragement: Keeping giving gifts. Let every gift be a reminder of The Gift and the Giver.




 

From all of us at Orphan Outreach, thank you for your gifts of time, talent, treasure, prayer, and encouragement throughout the year. We are honored to have your support as we work in Central America, Eastern Europe, Africa, India, and the United States. And there is still opportunity for you to contribute to the work being done - when you give, your donation is doubled because of a most generous match (up to $300,000). Again, thank you. Merry Merry Christmas.


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