Do you ever picture God as the Ultimate Father? Sometimes that may be hard to do, especially if your father here on earth let you down, or isn't in the picture of your life, or is just plain human. ;) As parents, we strive to do the best for our kids. We may try to meet their needs before they even ask or to anticipate the desires of their heart. God prepared a gift for us that we weren't even aware we needed. We don't always show appreciation for what we've been given and what we can be saved from.
Can you imagine taking the time and effort to prepare the greatest gift ever and have it rejected time and time again?
Matthew 23:37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me. (NLT)
God did that for us when He willingly laid aside his kingly robes and came from heaven in the form of a helpless baby. There was no room for Him in a comfortable place in an inn. He was born in a barn where animals were kept out of the way. He was wrapped in "swaddling cloths", basically rags...leftovers. He gave us a gift by going through trials and temptations here on earth so He can truly understand when we cry out in desperation when the going gets too hard.
What do you do when you receive a gift that you can never even imagine how much it cost the giver to give it? The word sacrifice comes to mind. I looked it up and my favorite definition is: a: destruction or surrender of something for the sake of something else b: something given up or lost
Matthew 25:34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ (NLT)
Like Mary when she was visited by the angel and found out she would become the mother of the Savior, ponder and treasure in your heart the sights and sounds of Christmas this year. Recognize the fact that because of Jesus we do not travel this frustrating path of life alone. We are made for better times and a better place. What a gift and God is willing to keep giving and giving! Are we prepared to make room and receive it and pass it on?