Many gifts are simply and utterly useless. Obviously we do not make a big deal of their worth or lack thereof. I was very fortunate this year. I did not receive one worthless gift! Granted most of what I received I can consume, but the point remains. I am thankful for what I received. I will willingly admit that this has not always been the case – either in my giving or receiving. There have been some notable failures. The worst case was highlighted the year I, along with my father and siblings, failed to get anything for my mother! It was a disaster of the worst kind!
There is something absolutely, totally, and completely magical when you give or receive something with a “name” on it. It is a gift without price. The result is the opposite of what happens when the gift is simply expensive. I find myself wondering if the person really cares or understands the real me. In contrast, when my name is on it, it does not matter how much it costs. It is perfect! It is tailored, bespoke, and custom in a way that uniquely fits. I find myself sensing the wonder and awe of a gift of care, interest, and relationship.
In very human way, God reacts to our gifts in the same way. Divinity's words are an interesting warning to those who think they can buy their way in. “A curse on the person who makes a big show of doing something great for me-an expensive sacrifice, say-and then at the last minute brings in something puny and worthless! I'm a great king, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, honored far and wide, and I'll not put up with it!” (Malachi 1.14) God is not interested in our money; God is interested in our hearts. God is not swayed by a big show; God loves truthful intent. God is not big on rhetoric; God loves actions of love, compassion, and mercy.
We may think God has it all. Yet, God is missing our hearts – a priceless gift only we can give.
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