Jesus Is No Paperweight!

 

“What am I going to do with it?”

Have you ever asked that about a Christmas present? You appreciate the thought. You appreciate the effort. But you just do not know what to do with the gift.

A dear friend gave me a mini-bottle of Jack Daniels Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey for Christmas this year. I thought he knew me well. I do not know why he thought I would want a mini-bottle of Jack Daniels. I have never developed a taste for Tennessee whiskey. Besides, I am hesitant to drink anything that has a high sugar content now that I have been diagnosed with diabetes. I hate to stick my finger and find that my sugar reading is high! That gives me a bad day!

What am I going to do with this mini-bottle of Jack Daniels? I cannot drink it, and I do not like giving a gift that was meant for me to someone else. My mother taught me that such a thing is bad form! My friend was thinking of me. This gift is a token of his esteem for me and the friendship we share.

What do I do with this gift?

The only thing that I know to do with it is to add it to the collection of paperweights on my desk that I have accumulated over the years. Indeed, I have a number of gifts that have become paperweights – things that were meant for something else!

It is Christmas Day and I am listening to Christmas music as I write these words. My friend’s gift has caused me to think. My thoughts have wandered to God’s inestimable Christmas gift of Jesus to mankind. For some of us, the Christmas gift of Jesus is good news of salvation and life anew told again in glorious sounds and words of carols; for others of us, the Christmas gift of Jesus is inexplicable and as unexpected as my friend’s Christmas gift to me of a mini-bottle of Jack. Many people this Christmas are asking: “What am I going to do with this gift of Jesus? How do I use it? Do I add it to my collection of paperweights on the desk of my life?”

Some argue that the story of Christmas defies the credulity of the secular mind of twenty-first-century people. God’s speaking in the Bible in tones and syllables that we can comprehend and write down and preserve and pass on, a story of man’s fall into sin, God’s promise of a Messiah given and kept for the fullness of time, angels appearing and proclaiming a story of salvation, the miracle of a virgin miraculously pregnant, wise men searching for a holy King to adore, a child who is the Son of God and the Savior of sinners, is too challenging for many of us.

Atheists in New Jersey put up a billboard this Christmas season. Above the Wise Men and Mary and Joseph and the Babe in the stable was written “You Know It’s a Myth.” We know better. The story is a re-telling and re-affirmation and celebration of God’s precious gift of salvation in Jesus who “did come for to die / For poor on’ry people like you and like I.”

The Christmas gift of Jesus is not something to be disregarded. It is not another meaningless curio to be added to our collection of paperweights on the desk of our lives.

The story of God’s gift has been told again. Its challenge remains with us, as do it power and promise.

Jesus is NO paperweight to be added to the collection of paperweights on the desk of our lives!

Happy New Year!

Charles W. Wilson

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