How does Christ receive the gifts we give him?
My graduate advisor, James P. Cohoon, is a great man. One of the many lessons I have learned from him is his treatment of gifts. His office contains trinkets made by his children many years ago that are of little no obvious value other than that they were gifts. When I visit him to work through a sticky proof he always directs me to leave on his whiteboard any little thought written there by his now-adult children, even if they are no more than “hi, Dad!” or a smiley-face; we simply work our proofs around these transient gifts that they may last as long as possible.
A few weeks ago Dieter F. Uchtodrof spoke about being a “good, grateful, and cheerful receiver.” This area not being one of my strengths, I watched, listened to, and read the talk repeatedly; I advise reviewing it before Christmas without reservation.
To receive well and treasure gifts of no intrinsic value is a virtue. God has all virtues in perfection. Thus, we might assume that God receives and treasures gifts perfectly. But what gifts are these?
Almost a year ago I wrote about but failed to recognize one of these gifts: the expression of gratitude before each meal. Without detracting from the things I wrote then, I wonder if Christ treasures these little daily gifts we give him? I wonder how many of these contain a bit of our love and affection and how many are just perfunctory wrapped-up whatnots to meet a perceived expectation?
How often in a day do you offer Christ a sincere gift? And how does He respond? I find the image of God’s office filled with the thousands of little things that I’ve offered him and then forgotten about to be quite a moving picture. And not just a feelingless hoarding of one who refuses to discard anything; a treasured museum of the love offered by one of His children. Surely His infinite Love means this image is inadequate, but it is tangible and moving.
Why do I matter enough to God that he would receive my every gift so warmly? I truly cannot comprehend the answer. But comprehended or not, He does love me that much, as He does you.