Sunday, December 25, 2011

Gifts From Beyond the Grave by Kim Jackson

“Mrs. Doris R. Jackson has presented you with a gift subscription to Reader’s Digest, with season’s greetings.”

I slowly reread the words on the card. I was surprised, to say the least. Mrs. Doris R. Jackson, my mother, has called heaven her home since July 22, 1999. So my first reaction to this strange correspondence was a tinge of sadness. I’ll always miss my mom, and Christmas-time seems to magnify her absence.

But when I started thinking about the absurdity of receiving a gift from a deceased relative, my imagination began to roam. It landed in a pretend conversation with my mom, the lady who can order Christmas presents from beyond the grave.

“Wow, Mom, I can truthfully say, ‘You shouldn’t have! How did you pay for it? Did you sneak a credit card up there?”

“So, Mom, can I expect a birthday present too?”

“And about the thank-you card that was enclosed for my convenience…how should I address that, do you think? Is ‘Mansion Street’ specific enough?”

“Not to be ungrateful, but really, Mom! You live on streets of gold and all I get is a lousy magazine subscription?”

By the time my imaginary discussion ended, my sadness had turned to smiles. It’s not every day you get a gift from Heaven, after all.

Or is it?

On December 25th, we honor the greatest gift of all, a shocking revelation in its own right: a teenager gives birth to God; our Savior arrives as a baby.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given…and he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

The baby grows, and as a man, the Son of God gives his life for the likes of us.

“For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that he gave up his only son, so that we who believe in him shall not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

At great expense, Jesus Christ made this saving grace a free gift, available every day, 24/7. In fact, all good gifts have his fingerprints on them.

“Every good gift and every perfect present comes from heaven; coming down from God…” (James 1:17).

I’ll never know what computer glitch caused Reader’s Digest to send me that startling gift card. But what I do know is that Jesus Christ, whose birth we celebrate at Christmas, is constantly sending us gifts from beyond the grave.

So “Merry Christmas,” indeed, but perhaps the better phrase is, “Happy Day After Christmas, and day after, and day after…”

To read more about Kim and her ministry to homeless seniors in Romania, click HERE. To subscribe to WOW and receive devotions in your email box each Sunday, enter your email address below:

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