New Series: God’s greatest gift – Introduction
It’s not even December and I can’t escape the constant chitter chatter about what to get for Christmas. My children are running around with Argos catalogues, wanting to write their lists, and my inbox is bulging with marketing emails. To add to my woes, two words which I refuse to name and which, until a couple of years ago, I had never associated with one another – black is a colour I had traditionally reserved for Mondays – have now become unavoidable.
Amidst all this hype I can’t think of a single item I want for Christmas, which probably says more about the plenty I live in than any virtue of my heart. Of course, I don’t have everything and I am not ‘rich’ by the standards of this country, but when I step back and consider how much stuff I possess compared to all previous generations it is quite staggering. We twenty-first century Westerners, it seems to me, are materially rich, yet relationally and spiritually poor. We know the price of everything and the value of nothing.
Now, before you write me off as a latter day Scrooge, I am actually looking forward to Christmas and I love all that goes with the season, including the exchange of gifts. Yet, as I write a series of shorter-than-usual blog posts, I want to strip it all right back and rediscover the unexpected joy and wonder of God’s greatest gift. I will consider how a series of characters in the nativity narratives of Matthew and Luke responded to the gift of Jesus. I’ve only got four Fridays to go – then I’ll break for at least two weeks for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. My prayer is that you will rediscover God’s great gift, which is beyond words (2 Corinthians 9:15), as you encounter Jesus this Christmas.