We trade our gifts on Christmas Eve, or Christmas morn, or some convenient holiday. We wait to see a grateful smile, or wide-eyed wonder on a child’s face—all quietly aware our turn is next: the next gift will be handed us.
And though this pageant brings us joy, and warms our hearts, we dare not say it represents the gospel, even though it’s full of gifts. Our calculations typically are tuned to give of equal value. We won’t embarrass others with extravagance that they can’t match, nor do we like the debt we feel when we receive “too much.”
But heaven gave extravagantly when heaven gave us Jesus. He came with nothing in His hands but everything—all riches—in His heart. His greatest joy is in our joy—and in our inability to trade Him anything in return.
Grace is a gift we cannot earn, and don’t deserve, and can’t repay. We don’t make things “even” by obedience, or costly sums, or kindly deeds that lessen obligation. He who “owns the cattle on a thousand hills”—and all the hills—isn’t seeking reciprocity.
Accept the gift. Embrace the Child. Be overwhelmed with joy.
And stay in grace.