Feelings of Inadequacy

Here is another repost from an old, expired blog, this time appropriate for Christmas:

Posted on Dec 24th, 2008

Tomorrow is Christmas…or rather, by the time I post this blog entry I should say today is Christmas.  I just wrapped my presents for the rest of the family and looking at my small pile, all I can say is “lame!”

I try to put some thought into gifts before I give them.  I try to be generous and pick things out that would be meaningful to that individual.  Of course, I have never been successful at giving gifts on scheduled holidays; it must be spontaneous.  This Christmas is unquestionably a flop.

I have a box of paintballs for my brother – same thing I got him last year – only difference is the brand.  I got my mom a movie on DVD that she once said she wanted to see but to my knowledge never did.  She doesn’t know what the title is, but on her pleading I used a coupon to purchase this title.  Grand total for the movie after coupon: Free.  In addition to that I got my mom a book.  Again, she requested the book so it is no surprise, and the topic is cleaning.  Seriously, what mother is overjoyed to unwrap a gift and find that the title of her book is “Simple Cleaning?”  Finally, I came up short for my father, too.  I have absolutely no idea what to get/what to do for him this year.  All I have are two sets of rechargeable batteries for him which he put on his Christmas list.  Useful for his camera/Blackberry unit but do I really have to say it?  Lame.

I know the Christmas season isn’t all about gifts – or at least it shouldn’t be – but I’m looking for mercy this year.  My gifts aren’t anything special and regardless of whether or not I put any thought into gift-giving, what I have under the tree doesn’t produce evidence of it.  Drawing the parallel to our relationship with our heavenly father – our gifts mean nothing.  According to Hebrews 9,

This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper.  They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings—external regulations applying until the time of the new order.

And what of now, we who live in the new order (that is Christ)?

When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation.  He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.

With God I can bring him any gift, any sacrifice, any act of service I want and it will never satisfy, no matter how much thought, effort, or money I put into it.  I can’t put any stake in my salvation because it would rob Him of the glory. It is through Jesus Christ in whom we find redemption.  He not only receives the gifts, but he also gives the gifts.  Our thoughts and actions ought to reflect that news (Romans 12:1), in gladness and gratitude, but when it comes to the ultimate end anything that we have to offer is inadequate.  I am glad to have found mercy in Christ and moreover that he extended every perfect gift from above (James 1:17).