Can you imagine being given a Christmas gift and not opening it for 20 years? Well, that’s exactly what I did. Year after year I unwrapped all of my other gifts and enjoyed them for a few minutes or a few months before I lost interest or outgrew or wore out each one. I don’t know why I never got around to opening that one gift. When I was small, my other gifts all looked more fun, I suppose, and as I grew older, I thought I knew what was inside and wasn’t interested. Most years I didn’t even notice it.

Then one evening I bumped into an old friend on the street, and he handed me, of all things, that Christmas gift I’d ignored all those years. I opened it mostly to please my friend, who was clearly quite excited about it and seemed convinced that it was just what I needed. To my astonishment, he was right! Suddenly the other Christmas gifts of 20 years paled by comparison. This gift was unlike anything I’d ever experienced. It was intangible, yet more real than the ground I was standing on. I can only describe it as love—love in its richest, deepest, truest sense, overwhelming and boundless love, unconditional and unending. And it was mine! Definitely mine! For a moment I felt foolish for having waited so long to open it, but then I realized that no longer mattered. It was mine!

And it gets better. This gift is for everybody. If you haven’t unwrapped yours yet, let this be the Christmas you do. It’s the one that bears this note: “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”1

May you and yours experience the wonderful reality of a love-filled, Christ-filled Christmas.

Dear Jesus, through Your birth and life on earth, You opened the door for me to have a personal relationship with You and Your Father, an eternal connection that will endure forever in the world to come. Please come into my heart, forgive me for the wrong things I’ve done, fill me with Your Spirit, and help me to live a life that pleases You. Amen.

  1. John 3:16