Advent 2018 #4: A Christmas gift for you

It’s really starting to feel like December now: in the last 24 hours I’ve been to an Awards Night and a Speech Day.

The Speech Day was for the school where I work and was at Town Hall in the Sydney CBD. Following the Speech Day was of course lunch with the faculty. Following this was some shopping at the famous Queen Victoria Building, where I did of course check out their Christmas tree.

It definitely looks better than mine.

I find that so much of December is spent walking around shopping centres trying to find the perfect gift. Personally I think there’s too much choice in our society. I walked into a health food store yesterday that was just a little too “niche” for my level of interest. You know, the type with twenty different types of artisan bread, chia seeds, quinoa pasta and rice mixes plus information cards at the counter on the best ways to manage your Paleo diet (all of the above was in that shop yesterday).

Yet I must say that between two shopping trips over the last two afternoons I’ve made significant progress through the list of presents I need to purchase. I’m a little bit happy about that.

I don’t like the commercialisation of Christmas and I don’t like over indulging children with far too many presents. Yet I think it’s good that we do give presents because that’s what Christians think Christmas is all about.

A gift.

If you were trapped somewhere (maybe a shopping centre car park) with no way out, you’d want someone or something to come and get you out of where you were trapped.

If you’d tried everything you could possibly think of to fix a situation but no matter how hard you tried, couldn’t even come close, again you’d want someone or something to come along and fix the problem.

In ancient times the Jews were given a spiritual law to live by, from God. No one could keep the law and so no one was good enough for God.

All who rely on observing the law are under a curse for it is written: ‘Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of Law’… The Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin…

To me, that word ‘prisoner’ totally sums it up.

Knowing my personality, I think HNAC Alison would be convinced that if there actually was a God, he certainly wouldn’t care about her, or anyone for that matter, and certainly wouldn’t go out of his way to help her out any time she needed assistance.

The Bible says the exact opposite:

But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law…

Or in other words, to set them free; to fix the problem they couldn’t fix for themselves.

What a gift.

I haven’t finished my present shopping just yet and I’ve got to admit that sometimes I feel like Christians are discouraged from overspending when buying presents because they (apparently) aren’t thinking about Jesus enough at Christmas time.

But Jesus is a gift, so why not think about him when buying your gifts?

Yours in retail therapy,


Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on

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