Taken from a blog series written in 2019
Samantha couldn’t have been much older than 3, tugging at her mom’s hand and pointing in the direction of Santa’s workshop. Mom was trying to finish her conversation with the sales clerk but Samantha would not be ignored.
They finally made their way to the end of the line and settled behind a snake of excited squiggling toddlers. Each made their way to Santa’s lap, a coaxed whisper in his ear, and a candy cane to complete their visit. Stepping off the stage, each running with excitement to the waiting arms of family.
Samantha walked up the steps, mounted Santa’s knee, and announced to the crowd what she wanted for Christmas. No whisper, no coaxed conversation – she shouted clearly for all to hear.
To the surprise of her mother, the list included a baby brother – his name will be James just like her Grandpa, a fairy doll set, and a new goldfish. Goldie, her previous goldfish, was found floating upside down in his bowl and was sent to heaven by way of a flush. The crowd chuckled and then froze at Samantha’s next statement,
I need more JE-SUS!
Santa looked a little puzzled. What do you say to a child that wants more Jesus?
Samantha smiled and scooted off Santa’s lap, collected her candy cane, and made her way back to mom. Mom bent down and gave her a hug, then stood and clarified,
Cheez-Its, she loves them; we’ve run out!
The crowd let out a collective giggle, Samantha walked away, candy cane in hand.
Samantha was unaware of the truth she had shared with her sweet mispronunciation. But such a profound reality innocently communicated.
I don’t know about you but this Christmas, I need more Jesus!
Replacing the uncertainty of the world, with the comfort that He is enough. Substituting the hustle with the beauty of time spent in His presence, available to hear a Word, gain a glimpse of eternity. I need to move my attention off my expectations and wants, refocusing the minutes of my days on all He has done, His provision, His future promises.
What a perfect Christmas gift, more Jesus.
In Galatians 4:3-7 we get a glimpse at the gift of Jesus,
(3) And that is the way it was with us before Christ came. We were slaves to Jewish laws and rituals, for we thought they could save us. (4) But when the right time came, the time God decided on, he sent his Son, born of a woman, born as a Jew, (5) to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law so that he could adopt us as his very own sons. (6) And because we are his sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, so now we can rightly speak of God as our dear Father. (7) Now we are no longer slaves but God’s own sons. And since we are his sons, everything he has belongs to us, for that is the way God planned.
Living Bible (TLB)
That first Christmas God gave us the ultimate gift, His Son. And every Christmas since that day, His precious gift remains available to us.
For some, the gift remains unopened. If the truth were told, they don’t even see the humble package. They scan the stack of gifts, drawn to the shiny boxes, the fancy packaging, those that sparkle of gold and silver.
Some open His gift, trying it on to see if it fits, and later decide to re-gift it. They recognize it will require sacrifice. They can’t appreciate the value, the great price paid.
A few unwrap the gift and immediately recognize the treasure inside. They are overwhelmed by its beauty and value, moved to tears for being offered such a cherished treasure.
As you navigate this Christmas season, I encourage you to reflect on why you celebrate. Evaluate if you need more Jesus this year and consider slowing down a little to enjoy the extravagant gift you’ve been given.
My prayer for you this Christmas season is that you have received the precious gift of Jesus, recognize the treasure you’ve been given, and share your gift with those around you.
Over the next three weeks, we will look at three gifts God has given us. We will take time to unwrap each precious package and discover the depth of God’s love and care for each of us.
As we focus on these extravagant gifts, I invite you to shift your focus from Christmas as it has been to Christmas as it can be. A Christmas filled with more of Jesus.
I am excited to unpack the gift of Jesus with you.