Last night, Christmas Eve, a thought that had been bubbling in my mind finally culminated and in the tiredness of the night, I laid down and fell asleep. This morning, Christmas, despite the last minute wrapping I need to do, impending phone calls to long distant loved ones, veggies that still need to be cut for Christmas dinner with the in-laws this thought returns to my busy mind and implores me to be written.
What is the greatest, or most profound, Christmas gift, ever, in the entire world? Greater than the loads of myrrh. Greater than the chests of gold delivered by the famed wise men. Greater than the perfumed vases of frankincense too. Some might say that the best gift in all the annals of time would be their spouse, while others might vehemently disagree with them. Some people might say that the greatest gift would be their children. Others might say Jesus or his cross. There are many thoughts on this subject. Songs and poems have been written on this very thing. However, as I’ve been toying with this idea in my head now for the past month and a half to two months, it has captured my thoughts and broken my heart.
Forgiveness is the greatest of these. An outflow of genuine love, forgiveness affords life where death reigned previously. If it wasn’t for Christ’s forgiveness, his coming to Earth would have merely been a sight-seeing tourist trip. If it was for his willingness to forgive me of my wretchedness, his love would be hollow. As great as Jesus is, as wonderful as an empty cross and an emptier tomb is … the greatest of these is forgiveness.
Superman, Man of Steel portrays a man coming to Earth and saving us from so much devastation. Nevertheless, what Hollywood can’t replicate in all of its heroesqe movies and thrillers is what God freely offers to each of us, the gift of forgiveness. This year I want to encourage each person to give the greatest gift known to mankind … give the unwarranted and unhampered gift of forgiveness that is not under compulsion or obligation. Ephesians 5 speaks of this gift. It is absolutely nothing that we can do. It isn’t even our faith, or belief, that saves us since even the demons of hell believe. It is an unearned (haven’t-done-anything-to-deserve-it) kind of gift. In closing I’ll end with a quote taken out of ‘The Lord’s Prayer:’ “… and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.” (NLT Matt 6:12)
Until later . . . Jonathan Watson
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