1 Samuel 10:27
Coming home to Manila for Christmas season, the first agenda on my list is Divisoria shopping! T’was literally a mob, but the inconvenience was pale compared to the great deals I found. No, I don’t buy bulk and just give it away. It took me seven hours (and counting) to look for the perfect present for my loved ones. Gifts are meant to match and please its recipient. Reading the first Christmas story the other day, I was amazed seeing the ironies in God’s concept and big production of Jesus’ incarnation. His first guests are from opposite poles: shepherds and magi. The wise and the otherwise :> We can be lowly and broken and unworthy, yet God will welcome us into His presence. But in giving Him gifts, it has to be costly. Giving a crippled animal to a governor is unthinkable. It is doubly an insult, if not grave defiance, not to give a King the honor He deserves. And this is what some people did to Saul on his first days in office. It is said that ‘they despised him and brought him no gifts’. Doubting his potential to lead them from their enemies, they acknowledged him not. It is as immature as not giving a person a holiday gift because you know he couldn’t afford to give it back! How many groups rally on the street, blaming the head of state for their empty plates, and yet never once gave him even a cent of respect? Saul kept silent. But he sure was hurt. And so is the baby in the manger, the King whose birthday is celebrated worldwide, but never made it to our gift list :<
Googling to find the lyrics of ‘The Little Drummer Boy’, I was surprised to find it sensible, haha! All the while I thought it was all babbling and ‘pa rum pum pum pums’. The song tells of a poor young boy, unable to afford a gift for baby Jesus, plays his drum instead and got a smile from the newborn. Awww, sweet! :> Just like the widow offering two small copper coins, the boy was commended not for the market value of his offering, but for how much he values it. Gift giving, although sometimes sacrificial in nature, shouldn’t make our faces long and hearts struggling. How would you like to receive a gift from a teary-eyed friend who can’t take his eyes off from that wrapped box, even telling you how hard it is for him to let it go? But it happens. Because we’re focusing on the gift. How about lifting our faces a bit and see our Father, Savior and Comforter at the receiving end. I’ve never been summoned to a royal court, ever. But given a chance, all pleasure is mine. Maybe what we’re missing here is the wonderment of being in His presence. That nothing earthly is worth keeping compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Him. Ask a man courting the girl he loves and he will tell you he will do anything and everything just to see and please his beloved. We give because we love. It follows then, that when we’re empty handed this Christmas, we have failed to love.