It's coming on Christmas and this year, the first year in, well
I have NOT wanted a gift of any kind or shape. Seriously. SERIOUSLY. Stop looking at me like that...I am serious. Not even food items. Nope. For some reason I just do not want anything at all. And so as the day draws closer and sweet kiddos and Hubby find something to wrap for me even though I told them I had need of nothing, I am reminded of a couple who gave and was reminded myself of what I am giving everyday.
By this time you surely have heard preaching, teaching, and even songs regarding Mary and Joseph. Sometimes we skim over them and listen halfheartedly letting our minds wander to what is important. You know, like picking up that extra tub of cool whip for tomorrow's dessert.
We are just so shallow these days.
And well, while I was half listening to a story about Mary and Joseph the Holy Spirit broke into my invisible shopping list in my mind and halted everything. According to the Bible, Mary and Joseph brought an offering to the temple when presenting Jesus 8 days after his birth.
Remember what it was???
(Final Jeopardy music..........Do do do do do do do, do do do do, DO, do do do do do..)
2 Turtle doves. (refrain from now adding to this statement....And a Partridge in a Pear Tree...)
2 Turtle doves. The Poor man's offering. Over and over again in Scripture the Bible uses the base things. 1Co 1:28 "And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:" Things that are less than the status quo, or up to the world's standards.
1Co 1:27 " But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
He uses these things to "confound" or to "dishonor" or "shame" the things that are "mighty." In seemingly simple things throughout the Bible He gains glory. I for one just love this idea. I have always rooted for the underdog, and sought to look "outside the box" at things. I like finding joy, humor and beauty in the things that the world passes by. This may be why I have recently found such enjoyment in photography.
Everyone can photograph say, a house. But not everyone photographs the steps, let's say. Not everyone zeros in on the pile of shoes littering the back porch steps which speak volumes in regards to the liveliness of the home, the character of the one's residing in it.
So me in my deep thinking look at Mary and Joseph again and their two Turtle doves. The Poor man's offering.
And I zero in on my own life. Is their small Christmas offering shaming mine?
In the world in which we who read this blog live we cannot honestly say we are poor. We have, the lot of us, fallen sadly into the category mentioned in Revelation when it reads:
Re 3:17 "Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:"
And then it hit me.
I am the one this Christmas who is rich, increased with goods and have need of....nothing.
Take a moment, friend of mine and ask yourself what you truly have NEED of. Go ahead. I'll be here when you are done.
Did you come to the same conclusion as I??
We scramble to find something to fill the kids stockings and fret when we have only 4 presents per child. We search the stores for that one unique thing made no doubt in China for goodness sake, to grace the Grandparents wall or table just to have something to "Wow" them because it IS Christmas after all! We rack our brains trying to think of something Witty and brilliant to give to our parents or friends or spouse and search the Internet for ideas, books and even begin to think that the silly t.v. infomercials actually look good because we must have SOMETHING to wrap.
When was the last time you met a NEED? You cannot even remember, can you?? As Americans our proverbial stocking is bursting at the seams, spilling over with a boatload of junk. Yes I said junk.
We have need of nothing. And I think we break God's heart because He is the only one who knows how truly poor we are.
And to make matters worse we come to God with our million dollar smile and bring Him our offering.....
Two Turtle doves.
We are the richest nation on Earth and yet we bring God, the Creator of everything, the poorest offering we can give.
Doesn't God, our heavenly Father deserve the rich man's offering??? Does He not deserve every single solitary thing we have to offer?
He doesn't want your three second prayer over peanut butter an jelly with the kids because you have other important things to do while they eat. He doesn't want your time reading His word out of guilt because you have been so busy these days. He doesn't want your half-hearted singing at the Christmas Eve service as you eye the crowd wondering if anyone notices you and your nice looking family.
He doesn't want your two Turtle doves.
He doesn't want your spare change. He isn't the salvation army man ringing His bell to get your attention to remember to throw Him just a little something.
He just sadly waits.
He waits for you and I to take a moment like I did tonight and confess that we have need of nothing.
He wants us to remember the story of the woman in 2 Kings 4 who was sent out to fetch vessels for oil. Remember with me that she had a debt to pay. God, through the prophet Elijah, told her to borrow vessels and not a few. She was instructed to take them into her house, close the door and begin pouring out. The Bible says that:
2Ki 4:6 "And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a vessel. And he said unto her, There is not a vessel more. And the oil stayed."
That last part is the key..."and the oil stayed." Somewhere in her pot gathering she looked at her pile and said to herself, "These are enough." She was satisfied with what she had gathered, yet God's blessing was only hindered by her faith in not gathering more pots.
She did not NEED anymore.
Have you enough of God to suit you?
In this sinful world we need reminded that we are poor, miserable wretched and blind and naked......
We put Him on the shelf next to our Nativity scene and carry on with out shopping for more things only to realize that the most important thing in our lives is Him, and we will only have as much of Him as vessels we borrow.
He will pour into our lives as long as we want Him to. The trouble is that most often we are so increased with goods that we let the sweet oil of the Holy Spirit "stay," when we should be offering Him another vessel in our lives to fill.
God wants the offering of our lives. The greatest offering we can lift to Him to use. And the time to be used is now, when so many around us are possibly the closest to finding Him than ever. Christmas.
Forget the gifts. This Christmas hold an empty pot heavenward and once it is filled, let some of it spill over onto your neighbors and co-workers, store workers, mailman, to everyone who needs the Gift Christ came to be to them.