It's the thought that counts
But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. (Galatians 4:4,5)
Have you ever used the expression “It’s the thought that counts”? It’s usually used about a present, either given or received, that isn’t perhaps as fancy or expensive as others. But the person who has chosen the gift has given a great deal of time and thought into the gift. They have thought what the other person might want or need. They have considered their choice of gift carefully, even if they didn’t have as much money to spend, and that makes the gift even more valuable. It’s the thought that counts.
Christmas is all about the giving of a gift. Not the gifts that we wrap and give one another, fun though those are. It is about the gift that God gives to us, the gift of his own son, born as a baby in Bethlehem years ago.
This is a tremendously precious and expensive gift. God himself comes to us in human form. The baby in the manger is king of the universe, the sovereign ruler of all. He chooses to live among us, with all our mess and confusion. He chooses to patiently teach and guide his disciples. He chooses to go to die on a cross. He literally gives his own life as a gift for us. Could there be a gift more valuable, more expensive, more amazing than this?
As we wonder at how expensive the gift of God at Christmas is, perhaps we forget about the thought that went into it. After all, it’s the thought that counts. Not only did Jesus come as a gift, he came because he was thinking of you. He came knowing who you are and what you are like. He came knowing what you most want and what you most need. He came thinking of you.
Selecting an appropriate gift for someone can be very hard. We don’t always get it right. But God knew exactly what you needed most. When the time was right, he sent Jesus. He sent Jesus as a sacrifice for sins, to bring us back to himself. He knew that was what each one of us needs. He knew that because he knows you and is thinking of you.
At Christmas we are given the most precious of all gifts, the gift of God’s own Son. It is also the gift with the greatest thought, the most careful consideration, the deepest and most precious understanding. This Christmas, God is thinking of you.
Heavenly Father, we thank you that you know us to the very core of our being. You know us well and you love us deeply. Thank you that you sent your son as a precious gift and a sign of your love. Thank you that you are thinking of us, and we pray that you would help us to think of, and follow, you. Amen.
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