The day after Christmas can be a real letdown. The floor is littered with small pieces of wrapping paper that somehow did not make it into the trash. The tree looks bare without the presents underneath. All the buildup, all the anticipation and now it is done.
So much of Christmas is about the gifts and gift giving can be tricky. I remember my folks carefully counting out the gifts to make sure that everything was done evenly among their children. I find myself doing the same for my family.
Every family seems to have their own way of giving gifts. But I can imagine one tradition of gift-giving that would be absolutely ludicrous. And that would be to take out the calculator, add up what a family member spent on you, and then hand them the cash to reimburse them. Such a gesture would be so shocking and hurtful.
Our verse for today reminds us that the gift of eternal life that Jesus made possible is entirely free. And yet, how often do we try to pay Him back. It is just as ludicrous a thought. A gift by its very nature is free and without obligation. And so it is with our salvation. There is no way to earn it. We are saved by grace, His unmerited favor. And there certainly is no way to actually pay Him back for such an indescribable gift as Himself.
The birth of Jesus made possible a gift that is eternal. His gift of eternal life is a gift that never stops giving. No after-Christmas letdown here!
(a re-post from Christmas 2012)