“Thank God for this gift, too wonderful for words!”
2 Corinthians 9:15
What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? Perhaps your mind jumps to a recent present you were given that came with attached sentimental value. May I encourage you to think back to when you were really young?
I remember the all-encompassing anticipation that surrounded Christmas Day as a child. A full sensory experience - the smell of the Christmas tree, the sound of carols, and the sight of that big old present with your name on it.
I recall one year where I chipped away at the corner of the wrapping paper of this huge gift in the days leading up to the 25th. I was unable to contain my excitement to the extent that I had to get just a sneak peek at what lay inside. I don’t remember exactly what was behind the wrapping paper all these years later. It was likely some train set or other that my parents lovingly picked out, and I gleefully received as a wide-eyed five-year-old.
As we get older, we perhaps lose this sense of giddy excitement as December 25th approaches. Perhaps, even, the feeling is replaced entirely by a sense of fear and dread for the big occasion.
I am now consumed however, every year, by this truth that we are presented with a “...gift too wonderful for words!”. Here’s why:
In this passage, Paul is writing to the church in Corinth. He encourages them to give generous financial gifts for Christians in Jerusalem, supporting his argument with a verse from Psalm 112. Paul argues that since we are called to follow the example set by God, we too must be generous with what we have. Yet, how are we to understand the generosity of the Lord?
There could be many, many answers to this question, each more applicable and poignant than the last, depending on who you’ve asked.
This Christmas time, however, might I encourage you to gaze upon the manger for a complete picture of your Heavenly Father’s generosity? We know generosity by many different names and faces, but as Paul contends, all are imitations of the example set by the mere presence of this baby lying in the straw.
As Paul commands, let us give thanks “...for this gift too wonderful for words!”.
How are you imitating the generosity of God?
Where in your life can you give financially to support the work of Christ’s church?