At Christmas time, we hear so much about giving to those in need. And we should. We should absolutely be giving to those in need at this time of year and all year round.
I read a commentary about the Christmas story the other morning and it really stuck with me.
We all know the baby Jesus was given expensive gifts by the Magi when he was born. Yet what good were these gifts to him really? Did he really need them?
Well, some hypothesise that these were used to pay the way for him and Mary and Joseph as they fled from Herod’s decree to kill all boy children under the age of two.That’s just a theory though, and I’m not sure I subscribe to it.
What if he didn’t need those gifts at all? What if they were given simply because of who he was and the fact that the Magi knew he was a king and so deserving of gifts such as these?
I know people who base their gift giving on what a person needs. And that’s all good and well – we shouldn’t be wasteful and spend money on things to give to people who don’t need it.
But what if we should? What if the purpose of giving a gift is to honour that person? What if giving a gift is more about saying to that person ‘You are valuable. You are worth bringing wonderful gifts to’? What if their ‘need’ is none of our business? What if we should just give to people anyway, regardless of how much they do or don’t have?
Jesus really didn’t need gold, perfume, or spice, so why bring gifts to him at all?
We give gifts because of what it says about the person we are giving to. We give gifts to show our love and the value we place on them as a person. We shouldn’t not give to someone simply because it looks like they don’t ‘need’ it.
They may not ‘need’ it in terms of material possessions but they may ‘need’ it in terms of feeling loved, valued and thought of.
What do you base your gift giving on?