Today, all around the world, people are celebrating. Typically regardless of country, people will stop everything and because of wonderful childhood memories, they will carry on family Christmas traditions with fervor. We call this day Christmas but what are we really celebrating?
I am one of those rare siblings who is blessed with a sister who is 17 years younger than me. The youngest of 7 with older siblings ages 12 to 22 helped her to develop communication skills early. She was an amazingly sharp little one whose heart was as sweet and tender as any heart you could imagine.
My most favorite Christmas memory is one with my Lisa. I gathered my 2 ½ year old sister in my arms that snowy Christmas Eve as we snuggled on the loveseat in front of the lights of the Christmas tree. I opened the Wordless Book that I had received in my Child Evangelism Fellowship Summer Training course and I told her the Good News. She listened intently. I asked if she knew what we would be celebrating the next morning. She quickly replied, “It’s Jesus’ birthday.” Her eyes suddenly grew big and round and she jumped up and facing me she threw her hands over her mouth and gasped in horror. I leaned forward in concern.
She frantically confided, “Oh Suzi, tomorrow is Jesus’ birthday and we don’t have Him a present yet. We need to go to Kmart and get Jesus a blue light special.” I calmly told her that Jesus didn’t want a blue light special; He wanted her to give Him her heart.
With a look of stern disapproval she put her little hands on her hips and said, “Well, if He is going to be that picky we won’t get Him anything.”
On Christmas morning Lisa looked at me from across the room and tears filled her eyes. She came running over and said, “Oh Suzi, today is Jesus’ birthday and we didn’t get Him anything.”
My response, “Well, sweetie, You know what He wants.”
She nodded with a great weariness and sighed, “Yes, but I can’t give it to Him.”
Children don’t just believe in Jesus because we tell them to do so. True belief comes from the core of who we are.
In June the following year as I was reading right from the Bible, the story of Samuel, Lisa interrupted to tell me that like Samuel, God was calling to her. I asked her what He was saying. She shared that He wanted her heart. This time she was willing.
Jesus came to live among us (John 1:14) so that one day He could live within us forever. Christ in us the Hope of Glory! (Colossians 1:27)
Jesus’ favorite gift is the gift of our heart. Do you want Him to have a Happy Birthday? Well, we know what He really wants.