I think I was either 11 or 12 years old. On that Christmas morning, I opened a small package that contained a note. The note instructed me to go to a drawer in the kitchen. There I found another that told me where to find the next note. After four or five of these diversions, I ended up at the closet in my parents’ bedroom. That’s where it was, my first guitar.
Three years earlier, I began learning to play, but I had used my dad’s instrument for lessons and practice. Now I had a guitar of my own.
I kept that guitar through my teenage years, playing and singing at youth events. I would travel with my dad on his speaking assignments for the Gideons, often playing and singing for the folks at those churches.
That guitar went with me to the University of Kentucky. I played that guitar for more than ten years until it was stolen. Everywhere I went, that guitar helped me to make friends. The gift that was given to me became a gift that I could share with others.
In the birth of Jesus, we receive the gift of Immanuel, God with us. In the manger, we see for ourselves the steadfast love of God. In a baby wrapped in bands of cloth, we know that God’s grace is freely given to us.
Those gifts of God become gifts that we can share. We have received grace, and so we can share grace. We have received mercy, and so we can offer mercy. We know the love of God, which calls us to love.
As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, what gifts do we bring? How will we share God’s gift of grace given to us?
Wishing you Merry Christmas and Happy Three Kings Day,