Tuesday, December 16, 2014
A Christmas Present for Jesus
By William Gaultiere
The magi gave gifts to Jesus on the first Christmas. Do you have a gift to give Jesus for Christmas?
We give presents to many family and friends and they give gifts to us – it’s a wonderful tradition. But in the midst of all our Christmas festivities we may forget that its Jesus’ birthday we’re celebrating. How are we giving him a present?
What gift could you give to Jesus? How about going against the current of our crazed culture and give the gift of spending some quiet time with Jesus as your First Love.
Here are some ideas for ways you could give the gift of an adoring heart to Jesus for Christmas:
Meditate on a Nativity Scene: Probably you have a nativity set in your home. If so sit beside it quietly and take in the miracle of Christmas, thanking God for sending Jesus. Imagine that you’re Simeon. He had been in the temple waiting and praying for the Messiah to come. When Mary and Joseph brought the infant Jesus into the Temple he was ready! He took the Christ child into his arms, smiled warmly, held him close, and gave praise to God (Luke 2:28). In prayer, enjoy holding Jesus as Simeon did!
Center Down in Prayer: Set aside five minutes in quiet solitude (ideally in the morning) for centering prayer. Mary received the Messiah into her womb by praying: “Let it be to me according to your Word” (Luke 1:38). To grow in Mary’s humble trust “center down” in her prayer of submission. When your mind wanders gently call it back to the Scripture. Breathe the words in and out – slowly, deeply, over, and over. One-by-one offer to God your concerns as you repeat this prayer. Then as you go about your day whisper your breath prayer as often as you can remember.
Journey Alone with God in Silence: The wise men rode on donkeys across the quiet lonely desert for months in order to bring their gifts to the Christ child. Most of us spend time alone driving in our cars. This is a great opportunity to practice silence and solitude. Try turning the radio off. Just talk to Jesus. Imagine he’s sitting next to you and have a conversation with him.
Take an Extended Personal Communion with Jesus: Zachariah spent nine months in silence anticipating the birth of Christ! (Luke 1:20). How about spending a few hours to be quietly alone with Jesus? What a wonderful gift this would be for Jesus and you. Save Bible study or book reading for another time. This special time is for you and Jesus simply to enjoy being together. What would you like to do with Jesus? Take a walk? Go to the beach? Visit a monastery or a retreat center? Sit down in a favorite spot in your house or yard? Talk with Jesus and listen to him. Smile at your Friend. Tell him you love him. Thank him for his goodness. Be still – together! You may want to use a journal to help you pray.