When I was about 13, my Dad gave me a pump Winchester Model 12, 20 gauge shot gun. He taught me to safely use it and keep it clean and in good working order. And that I did. Living in the country as a young teen, I would come in from school, I would get my chores done with the chickens, the farm animals, the garden, and around the house. Then I would put my red rubber knee boots on and my hunting vest with plenty of ammo, and I would head to the woods. I was not a serious hunter. I loved to just explore the woods, the waters, and the wildlife. I always had my loved and trusted 20 gauge with me for protection, and, there have been a few squirrels and rabbits that found their way to our dinner table. I was able to examine some birds more closely after I got through with them, and poisonous snakes anywhere near me met their hasty demise. That gun was a treasured gift, and I still have it today. As I look back, I see that I did not beg for that gift. I can’t even remember desiring or asking for the gift. Having moved from town to the country, my Dad wanted me to have what every country boy needs – his own gun. He just bought it and “revealed” it to me. It was awesome to me. I reverenced that gun. I took the best care of it that I could. I loved that gun. I loved to just look at it, hold it, hear it rack, and shoot it. I would go out in the woods just looking for something to shoot. It was “my” gun.
Christmas is the season we celebrate the gift of Jesus. The gift of eternal life comes to us through the Father giving his only Son to pay the price for our sins and sicknesses. The Father initiated it seeing that we needed it. He gave Jesus for our eternal protection and pleasure. When the Father draws us to himself and reveals his gift to us, that gift is precious to us. We didn’t have to do religious works for it. In fact, we see that our religious works are counter-productive to how the Father operates. We can never be good enough or do enough to get right with a holy God. The goodness and works of Jesus is what has satisfied the Father. When we see this, we rest in peace with the Father. We don’t have to work to please the Father. We just receive the gift, love it, take care of it, and take it with us every day. It pleases the Father to see us doing this. The gift, paid for by the Father, is given to be received and revered. Seeing what he did for us brings us to a lifestyle of repentance and commitment to him for each day and for all eternity. Receive the gift.