Monday, January 3, 2011

Nothing to Give?

“…and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” Matthew 2: 11

What treasures do you have to offer the Christ child? I think many of us think we have little or nothing to offer Him. That if we truly took our hearts and examined them and then offered them to Christ that either He would find them so broken or spoiled that He would be able to do nothing with them, or that He would find them so stained by sin that He wouldn’t want them. If only we could be like the Magi who came to pay Him homage with such treasures as gold, frankincense and myrrh.

And while I think it is true that if we love someone we want to offer them our best, what if our BEST is broken, and stained and little? What if it seems worthless? Will He still accept our offering? I think the truth is that Christ is not as concerned with what we offer, but that we offer generously. He wants it all, even if the “all” is little, or insignificant or broken or stained. How can I say this?

Think about the story from the Gospels about the feeding of the five thousand and try to use your imagination. I picture the apostles standing there talking among themselves after Jesus had told them to figure out a way to feed all the people. And perhaps as they were discussing this dilemma, a little boy about 6-7 years old overhears them and decides to help by offering his lunch to Jesus. Not wanting to make him feel bad, they take his small offering of a few small loaves of bread (more like rolls) and a couple of dried fish. Soon after Jesus asks what they have come up with and with nothing else to show, they show him the little lunch offered by the boy, thinking it will be a token measure. And yet then what happens? Jesus takes this small, seemingly insignificant parcel that was offered with such generosity and He multiplies it into enough food to feed over five thousand men, women and children and 12 baskets of leftovers.

We soon forget about this little offering because it was not treasure like gold, and it was not nearly enough for any rational mind to think it could be helpful in the situation. But it wasn’t important what the little boy offering, it was that he offered it ALL. Perhaps today we can begin to stop comparing ourselves to everyone else and what we think they offer Jesus. Or maybe we can begin to stop thinking that what we have to offer would be useless. And maybe we can just start offering, whatever it is, with a joyful and generous heart, trusting that if our God can take a few loaves and fish and feed five thousand, that He can take whatever we offer and transform us as well.

Dear Jesus, I want to offer You my whole heart today, with all its brokenness, wounds and stains. Give me the grace to trust in Your love for me and allow me the privilege of seeing You multiply my gift for Your glory and purpose. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment