Part of this week’s prayerful focus on Celebrate…
It began, as twists in life’s road often do, with an innocent question. A child’s question at bedtime, the moon looming large outside the window. A question that rang in our ears, pierced our hearts, and lingered long after the moon swung away.
“What does Jesus get for His birthday?”
The words hung.
I scrambled. A cake? Our love? Yes, well and good.
But the question echoed, penetrated. And the child rolled over again on his pillow and probed, “If we get wrapped presents for our birthdays, real sacrifices from people who love us …. than why don’t we do that for Jesus?”
Did Jesus deserve less of a birthday celebration? No… more, much more.
So that is where it began, the kernel that grew in our hearts, the beginning of the curve in our road. For us, we came to see Christmas as simply Jesus’ birthday. The children (with birthday celebrations of their own, and small gifts to celebrate God’s grace of a New Year) insisted: the birthday gifts are all for Him.
During the last two weeks of Advent, we gather daily, anticipating, excited, keen, to select gifts for our King.
“Anyone think we should get a pair of rabbits today?”
“I was thinking mosquito nets. Two. I wouldn’t want to die of malaria.”
“If we buy a seed packet for a family, our gift is tripled. Did you read the story on page 25 about what a difference it makes for an orphan family to have seeds? The little girl said, ‘Life is much better with food.'”
“Why are you crying, Mama?”
“Oh, just thinking how life really is much better with food…”
When we give to the least of these…. we are giving to you, Jesus.
Happy, happy birthday, sweet Baby.
“When we celebrate a birthday, we are careful to give what the person really wants or needs. Is there any doubt what Jesus wants from us?
He insists that in order to give to him, we must find Him with the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and the imprisoned.
By helping to provide a goat for a farmer in Honduras, a decent home for a family in rural Mississippi, or food for those who are victims of war, you can give Jesus a birthday gift he really wants.”
And but a moment to watch… and be deeply moved. (You may choose to click off the music in the sidebar.)
Thinking of birthday gifts for Jesus?