At this time of year, many of us give gifts in celebration of the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ Who came to earth as a little baby - the first part of God's salvation plan. God gave His only Son - perfect and beloved - to die on the cross for the sins of the whole world. The perfect, sinless Gift of Jesus is for all people.
Some of our gifts may be personalized; some may be handmade; some may be a simple card sending love or thanksgiving. One gift that isn't wrapped in a pretty package nor nestled in a gift bag with tissue paper is the gift of presence.
The gift of presence can be physical, emotional, and spiritual. As a mother, what a joy it is to have the family gathered together around the table or just hanging out in the house together!
Sometimes, miles separate us from being physically present with those we love, but we can be present emotionally and spiritually.
Checking on someone via phone or text offers emotional connection. With modern technology, days of prolonged absence is eased with multiple sharing platforms.
Even when time limits the amount of emotional connection, spiritual support iremains unlimited. We are able at any moment to breathe a prayer to our God to encourage our loved one, to help them, to teach them, to guide them. Prayer keeps us close in heart to our loved ones as well as brings us closer to God ourselves.
I think of the church family. Do you belong to a church family? Are you usually present when the church family gathers? When you're away, are you encouraging, edifying and praying for the church family?
Most importantly, are we consciously aware of God's presence? Are we checking in with Him all through the days? Are we seeking His counsel? Are we thanking Him for His faithful goodness and mercy to us? Perhaps, we are journaling notes to Him.
After He rose again from the grave, Jesus ascended to Heaven, but He did not leave us without His presence. He gave us Himself through the ministry of the Holy Spirit which indwells every believer. He is with us every moment, and He will never leave us or forsake us.
"Emmanuel" means "God with us!" This is the best gift ~ His presence.
Made in the image of Christ, may we give the gift of our presence in the lives of those God entrusts to us in our homes first, in our churches, in our communities, and in this world.
All the gifts God gives us are innumerable, yet He Himself is the best gift.
Things are nice, but our best gift is the presence of our heart.