Merry Christmas, former procrastinators! This week we’ll gather around our Christmas trees in celebration of Christ’s birth. We’ll “ooh” and “ahhh” and say “Thank you!” We’ll watch anxiously, hoping we “got it right” with a gift we chose for someone else. Scripture tells us about a woman whose gift so pleased Jesus that He honors her still.
She poured costly oil over Jesus’s head. (Matthew 26:6-13) The disciples were indignant. “Why this waste?” They contended that money from sale of the oil could’ve gone to the poor.
Jesus responded, “Why do you trouble the woman?” He said she’d done a good thing. They’d always have the poor with them but not Him. He knew she poured oil on His body for His burial. Her story will be told as a memorial wherever the gospel is preached.
What did Jesus value in this woman that the disciples missed?
He understood and appreciated that God was at work doing something they didn’t understand – in this case, anointing Him for His burial.
And He valued her heart. This woman loved Jesus. She was enormously grateful to Him. That overcame all she knew. She wanted to honor Him and express her love and gratitude with the best she had in the best way she knew.
There was no need to trouble her with “You should have’s.” Jesus accepted and respected her loving, expensive sacrifice to him. Her heart was overflowing with love.
What do I give? What is my heart full of?
Lord, help me see, accept, respect, and honor those who give to Jesus. Help me be among them – giving with abandon. It is possible the woman in this story abandoned her savings to give to Jesus. Help me, Lord, to love like that – with generosity and openhandedness. Help me be unselfish and liberal in giving to Jesus, to family, friends, and strangers – giving all year of time, energy, money, resources.
The reason we can give is because God so loved us that He gave the Greatest Gift. He puts a “giving urge” in us and as He sanctifies us, He develops it to make it stronger. We cooperate with Him when we give according to His prompting without delay.
In our giving to Jesus and to others, we can reflect the generosity and love of Jesus and of the woman in Matthew. We can reflect Him in our receiving from Jesus and others. No “You should have’s‚Ä¶” A drawing, a potholder, a necklace, a trip – whatever the gift, may we see, accept, respect, and honor the giver and the Lord.
Jesus gave Himself for you and me. He gave with complete unselfishness and generosity. We joyously receive the salvation of our souls and life eternal.
At Christmas we celebrate the birth of our remarkable Savior. Because of Him, may we give and receive promptly in generosity and love – now and all year.
How can you give and receive in loving abandon this Christmas?