Zane and I were unprepared for Christmas. Throughout the days of Christmas, we were showered with love and family and gifts. Gifts.
It seemed like every time we turned around it was, "Oh, this one's for Zane and Deborah."
The guilt quickly set in for not having gifts for everyone that gave them to us. I said the words, "We don't have anything for you" too often, and it hurt.
What is this mentality in our culture? You scratch my back; I scratch yours. I pay this time; you pay next time. You give me a gift; I give you a gift - oops, unless I don't have one for you! In our culture, we have a built-in expectation to repay what is given to us.
Okay, so basically by Christmas morning, I felt pretty lame. We had received so many amazing gifts and had given so little in comparison. Then it hit me. It's the gospel.
I didn't do anything to earn the gifts that people gave us. They gave them freely out of love and without expectation of gifts in return. For me to be upset that I had nothing to give them was to take away from their joy in giving to me. They just wanted to bless me with a gift. Yet there's this part in me that wants to pay for it somehow.
Jesus' gift of eternal life is the same thing. I could never repay or give God a gift great enough to equal the gift of salvation from death. To try is futile and insulting to the giver. I'm called to accept it and to delight in Him. Sounds simple enough, yet it goes against human nature.
It is abundant grace to be given what I don't deserve. It's true for Christmas gifts, and it's true for a relationship with my Creator. Thanks for the reminder.