Every now and then at Christmas, when I was younger, my parents gave me and my brosef a joint gift.
I can really and truly only remember one or three of these joint gifts, because I'm sure that one of us enjoyed the joint gift more than the other and it became mine or his.
Anyway. This one Christmas we got the joint gift and decided to unwrap it together. I'm quite positive this my idea and I wanted to help my brother unwrap the gift because I was already done unwrapping my presents and like any 10-year-old child, I just needed one last unwrapping. It's like, I was a cocaine junkie and I needed one last fix to get me through. Except that in my case, I just needed to unwrap one last gift to get me through until my birthday in October.
We ripped back 1/16th of the wrapping paper and I unleashed a yell, that only my dog could hear (RIP, Cooper). I tore the gift from my brother's hands and danced around the living room. I danced a dance of indescribable, uncomparable joy.
He screamed, "what is it, what is it?"
I shrieked back, "OUTBURST JUNIOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Did I even know what Outburst Junior was? No. Did I care? No. Did we even ask for Outburst Junior? Doubtful. But, I had never been more excited to receive a gift than the year we got Outburst Junior.
My hope for this Christmas is to experience that kind of joy, to dance that kind of dance and not because of any of the gifts under the tree. But, because of the gift that was given to me when my Jesus was nailed to a tree.
Aren't we all looking for free or cheap gifts in this horrible economy? To steal a phrase from Melanie Frazier, be a recessionista this Christmas and accept the free gift of God-- Jesus. Or give it (bridge diagram).
Then dance. Dance with joy.
1 John 4:9
"And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!"
2 Corinthians 9:14-15