Some years ago I bought a Christmas present for someone that I had been out of touch with for a few years. I thought I knew the kind of present they would appreciate, and so chose one with care and sent it off in the post. So you can imagine my surprise when a few days after Christmas the gift was returned with a ‘No thank you letter!’ The recipient pointed out that the gift was most inappropriate, that they couldn’t understand why I had bought it, and they certainly didn’t think that they would have any use for it! I was hurt – I had chosen the gift with great care and I was saddened that it had been returned unwanted.
Each Christmas we remember the fact that God chose with great care a gift for the world. It was a gift that He knew we needed, the gift of His only Son Jesus. But for 2,000 years most of us have seen the gift, considered it briefly and then returned it with a ‘No thank you letter’. It’s not something that we could possibly see a use for.
The good news is that unlike my reaction to the rejection of my gift, God doesn’t take offence, but every year reminds us that the greatest gift of love that has ever been given is still freely available. We just have to realise that we need it!