It's the Christmas Season.  Maybe that means different things to different people.  Even if you don't participate or engage in religious life as a part of your everyday world, you are consciously aware of the true meaning-the origin of Christmas.  You may choose to celebrate it devoid of its intended purpose, overlooking the greatest gift ever - Jesus.  The gift that has stood the test of time.  None-the-less, Jesus is the reason for Christmas.  My husband and I went Christmas shopping on Saturday.  I'm not a shopper at all.  Gift giving is hard work for me, not because of money, but I just don't get the focus.  I care deeply about people and care little about stuff.  As I was out and about shopping Saturday, I thought about Christmas lists - people making Christmas lists to give to those who love them with items listed on it they want.  I struggle with Christmas Lists.  If a gift is something given to someone as a present, something that they weren't looking for, anticipating, or even knew they wanted - how does a list capture the true art of gift giving??  Which leads me to Jesus, the ultimate gift giver.  I like to fool myself sometimes in believing that I always know what is best for me.  That I know what I really want.  Beyond want, that I know what ultimately I need in my life.  Then I thought about what makes Jesus unique to me and the whole world.  It's His gift giving.  When we as humanity had failed to live up to the Law (rules), God sent Jesus as a grace gift.  That is the point of Christmas - God's gift of Jesus to humanity born to create a grace trail through sin and our human flawedness back to God.  I'm sure when Christ was born the masses may not have known ultimately what their deepest need was, but God did.  That is the truest measure of a gift.  I think about my own life.  When I have had a need, a hurt, a deep longing, grief that wanted to consume me, unfulfilled pieces of my life, sorrow that wanted to put me in bondage, God through Jesus brought gifts to my life.... A friend's encouragement, hope, strength to go a little further, reminders of grace despite my humanness, joy after dark stretches, my deepest longing fulfilled, manna for the day.  They were all gifts.  They were met sometimes in ways that were not on "my list".  Some were met that I didn't even know I had.  God knows exactly what I want, what I need, what is best.  His gifts are always perfectly placed, uniquely designed, and always point to His great love for me.  That is what Jesus is ... God's gift of grace to us.  All without a list:)

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