You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Psalm 51:16-17 (NIV)
Whatja get? That’s a phrase you hear a lot of these days. What did you get for Christmas? This morning in church, our preacher asked some children what they got. I-Pads, DS games, Xbox and cell phones were common answers. What ever happened to Legos and Baby Dolls? Miss Julia came for Christmas dinner and told me that she got an Easy Bake Oven and a lump of coal. Apparently, last week was not a good week at school. She was remarkably subdued today although she told me in great detail about the cookies she left Santa. Maybe she believes bribery convinced him to leave the oven in addition to the coal. Husband’s niece looked at me askance when she asked me what I got for Christmas, and I told her a puppy. She thought that was youngest son’s gift, and it was, but after we got done buying her, husband and I decided we didn’t need anything else. And truly, she has brought me more laughter and joy than anything else could have. I even carried a picture of her with Santa to church this morning in case anyone asked what I got. Or if I have lost my mind. Not that I didn’t get other gifts. The photo of me and Billy given by my staff was framed by my mom and now hangs in a conspicuous place in our house where I can see it many times a day. I have a box of diapers for Guatemala from another staff member. My nephew gave me a book he made of photographs of my glass art. I got a puzzle box in the shape of a horse, a blouse, some earrings, chocolate and soap. Husband and I got gift cards for restaurants that we enjoy. We had the privilege of going to church this morning. Then, we had the blessing of having all our family here for Christmas dinner. Two full tables and more food than anyone could eat in one sitting followed by a walk, a horse back ride for Miss Julia, a baby to pass around and dogs’ antics to laugh at. Then, more food as we tackled three pies, cheesecake and ambrosia. No, I don’t need anything else. But, I have been contemplating a question our pastor asked this morning. He turned the phrase around and asked, “What do you think Jesus wants for His birthday?” He challenged us with the verses above stating that Jesus doesn’t want more religion from us. He doesn’t want our ceremony, our putting on of church clothes and enduring a sermon every Sunday. He doesn’t want us to make a show of putting a check in the offering plate or praying loudly before a meal in a restaurant. He wants us to come to Him, humble, obedient and contrite, asking forgiveness for our sins. Which if you are like me, are many. Really, our question should not be, “Whatja get?”, but “whatja give?” Whatja give Jesus for His birthday?