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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

A Christmas Present for Jesus

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. 

“Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10) is the Word of God to us. 

Jesus himself prayed in quiet solitude regularly. “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:6).  And he invites us to join him in, to be still in prayer with him: “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest” (Mark 6:31). 

Jesus enjoys being with you! Do you enjoy being with him? Perhaps you feel antsy or jittery about being still?  Maybe when you’re quiet your mind races with thoughts of things you need to do?

Little-by-little as we practice getting alone with Jesus to be quiet and still we can get beyond our restlessness and racing thoughts.  If we train with Jesus we can learn to settle into the peace of the Lord that is beyond our comprehension and guards our hearts (Philippians 4:6). 

As we rest with our Good Shepherd in his green pastures of grace and beside his still waters we discover that it’s really true: “He restores my soul” (Psalm 23:1-3).

Most of our ways of celebrating Christmas today are noisy and busy. But in many ways the first Christmas was celebrated in quiet and stillness. How about giving Jesus a Christmas present of spending some time just being with him in quiet prayer?

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.

© William Gaultiere. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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