How’s your Christmas shopping going?
Now, be honest: how many of the gifts you’re giving are just stuff you feel like you are required to give? These “gifts” don’t have any real significance to you OR the recipient. And, if the truth were known, they will likely end up in a land-fill sometime in the foreseeable future.
But there are other gifts, aren’t there? A few of the gifts you have planned are special. These are gifts that you have thought long and hard about. You’ve searched and/or labored to make sure this gift is exactly right. It’s significant. The recipient will likely keep this gift for the rest of her life and every time she sees it or uses it, you will come to mind.
I’d like to tell you about a birthday gift I received a few years ago.
The gift is a desk. It’s a lovely piece of furniture. Here are a couple of pictures of it…
What do you think this desk is worth?
Now there are several things to consider when you try to figure the value of something like this.
One thing would be the raw material. This desk is made from solid cherry wood and fitted with fine hardware.
You would also have to take into consideration the time and labor.
But another factor would be the quality of the craftsmanship involved. I mean, a desk made by me wouldn’t be nearly as valuable as one made by a skilled master craftsman. So the identity of the person who made it affects the value.
Now this is where it gets a little tricky, because if all you’re considering is the skill of the craftsman, that’s one thing. But what if you actually know the person? What if you have a personal relationship with the one who made the thing? How does that affect the value to you?
What if I told you that the person who made my desk was my dad?
Suddenly the value changes, doesn’t it? All of a sudden, the value of this desk, which may be worth a large amount of money to most folks, has increased exponentially to me.
Now, if you look inside the top drawer you’ll find a small brass plate that looks like this…
It says, “Lloyd | Mk. 1:11b | Dad & Mom | 8-15-04.”
Do you know what Mk 1:11 says?
It says: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
Now…how much do you think this desk is worth to me?
This Christmas, when we are all very wrapped up (See what I did there?) in gift giving and receiving, I want to take a little time to consider the gifts we give to God.
I want to suggest that the service we offer to God at our church or in our community – whether we preach, teach, sing, greet, bake, rake, shovel, tutor, clean, cook, listen, visit, or any of a hundred other acts of kindness to individuals or involvement in church ministry … whatever you do – do it as an act of love and worship. When you do, the raw material of your time and talents, combined with your skill and personal relationship, makes it a valuable love gift to God.
Like my desk, the value is far more than the simple combination of raw materials because it’s given as a demonstration of love to God who can multiply it until it has eternal significance.
Now that’s a gift worth giving.