Yes I know Christmas, December 25 is most likely not when Jesus was actually born. And No, I don't mean what present are you giving to Him that you might give to a co-worker; like salted nuts or a nice fruit box. But I do really ask you to consider, what are you giving to Jesus this Christmas? What is it you believe Jesus really wants more than anything from you this year? Is it your time? I believe the Savior of the world wants to walk and talk with you as he did with the disciples on the road to Emmaus. I believe he wants obedience... but more than that; He says he wants mercy / aka a broken and humble heart. (Psalm 51:17) Of all the things you could give Jesus this year, what he want's least is your righteousness, aka. good works. What will you give to Him for his Birthday?
One of the most meaningful gift experiences we have provided in Christmas worship services through the years is to set up an empty manger on the platform either the Sabbath before or after Christmas. Then we have given everyone a post card with a line drawing of a gift fit for a king, and invited the congregation to look deep into their hearts and write in/offer whatever God brought to mind. Then while the congregation sings a familiar Christmas carol, they are invited to come forward and lay their gift in the manger.
So what will you offer up to your Savior and Friend who gave himself for you that first Christmas? And what opportunities will you provide your congregation to give him their worship this Christmas?
Garrison Chaffee is the Youth and Young Adult Pastor for the Paradise Adventist Church in Northern California