Many of us will have spent the past few weeks deciding what to give as gifts this Christmas. Undoubtedly the most thought will have been given to those that we love the most, and when considering what to get them we will probably have wanted to spend as much as we could afford and possibly a bit more. But then there’s our distant relative great auntie Ethel, who lives at the other end of the country and who we only ever see once a year on Boxing Day. We feel obliged to get her a gift but it won’t really matter what we give her and we can definitely scrimp on the budget. A scarf or a pair of gloves will do – even if she does already have 16 pairs from previous years.
While we may be so particular about the choosing of gifts the Bible says that God takes a rather different approach. It reveals not so much that God loves, but that God is love. Love is the essential characteristic of His nature and determines everything He does and how He approaches us as human beings. It means that when God considered what He would give to the world at that very first Christmas 2,000 years ago, He spared no expense and gave Himself.