My husband and I were attending a church Christmas party. We were instructed to bring a white elephant gift; something still having worth, but laying around the house no longer used or enjoyed.
Rummaging around in my china cabinet to find a suitable gift, I found a little glass cross. I couldn’t recall why it had been given to me. Over the years, it had been shuffled farther and farther back behind the other more ‘current’ treasures.
At the party, we traded the white elephant gifts and we were all laughing at our “worthless” treasures. Suddenly, the wife of one of the deacons let out a startled cry of disbelief! Even more startling was that she was holding in her hand, the little glass cross that I had brought as my “white elephant” gift.
To my chagrin, she reminded me that her oldest child had given the little cross to me as a gift one Christmas in Children’s church years ago. As the associate Children’s Pastor, I was immediately stricken by my act of thoughtless disregard.
It had been years ago, but I now remembered how precious the gift had been at the moment. Now, I could clearly remember the child’s up turned face, giving me the gift he’d picked out himself and paid for with his own money. Taking my treasure back home, I put it in a place of honor where it would never be forgotten again.
The Holy Spirit spoke into my heart, how often do I put Jesus on a shelf and push Him to the back, forgetting about Him in my daily life? Do I put more current “busy treasures” in front of Him? It isn’t intentional; I don’t make a conscious decision to forget my Lord. The laying aside happens slowly.
Yet, by simply putting “stuff,” not bad stuff, just everyday “stuff,” before prayer, Bible reading and fellowship at church, I allow the cross to become less important in my life. Eventually, if I don’t recognize and correct the setting aside, one day, Jesus doesn’t matter to me at all.
God loves me SO much that He gave His only son so that I could have a relationship with Him. A great price was paid so that I can have this gift of intimacy. (I Peter 1:18-19) What am I doing with that gift? Am I keeping it precious, on the front of the shelf of my heart?
Or, is Jesus so far to the back that I’ve forgotten how precious the gift was when it was given? It’s time to bring the cross back home and put Jesus ahead of all my other “treasures.”
Mark 4:17-18 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of your son, Jesus, so that ALL my sins are forgiven, so I can have fellowship with you. Help me to always treasure the gift of salvation and the gift of your Holy Spirit to give me direction. I love you. amen.
Scripture References: I Peter 1:18-19 (NIV) 18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.