Guest post by Andrew Griffiths
This Christmas will be the first Christmas I get to spend with my son. It's really difficult to buy gifts for someone so young. You have this moment where you realise he couldn’t really care less about what you get him, so long as it’s in shiny wrapping paper. And this got me thinking a lot about the gifts we want as we get older. I'm the polar opposite of my son, I don’t care about how it's wrapped, I'm asking myself “is this gift going to be something that I really want.” I don't have as much time and money to spend on cool gifts anymore, so Christmas is open season on all those things I have wanted for myself but haven't gotten.
It occurs to me though, that God doesn't really give gifts for either of these types of people. The 7 month-old wants something that looks good, the 28 year old what something that feels good. But God, in his greatness, gives a gift which is goodness itself, something that may not look pretty, something that may not even be wanted, but something that is desperately needed.
Jesus didn't come in an impressive display. He spent his first evening lying in a trough surrounded by barnyard animals. He wasn't necessarily what people wanted. The people in his time were longing for a warrior king who might burst on the scene and rescue them from the Romans, but this was a weak and vulnerable baby, the son of a carpenter and a young girl.
Jesus might not be the gift that looks the most exciting, nor is he the gift that we might really want, but he is the gift that we need, goodness itself. In Jesus, God is giving us the best he can possibly give, himself.