Unwrapping the Gift of Presence
“To see Jesus as full of grace means there wasn’t any perfection checklist that was met to deserve His presence. Grace is presence not withheld.”
You’ve probably heard the song, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and as a child, the lyrics might have put fear in your heart. It talks about how Santa knows when you’ve been bad or good, or whether you’re on his naughty or nice list. And depending on which list you’re on determines the gifts you will receive. The song paints us as having a conditionally based relationship with Santa Claus.
I am so grateful God the Father loves me and loves you without conditions because our relationship with Him is determined by what His Son Jesus did for us. We don’t have to be on a particular list to receive His love and presence. He loves us just as we are.
The recipe for intimacy in a relationship is being seen, heard, and known just as I am, with the good, the bad, and the ugly and still be loved and accepted. And that’s the kind of relationship we can have with Jesus Christ. Each of us lack nothing that is required to be loved by God. We don’t have to earn His love and acceptance and can freely receive it as we are. Author Scott Erickson writes, “Grace and truth is the invitation to be seen, and in that seeing to receive the gift of presence not withheld.”
Christmas is the time when grace and truth meet in the form of a babe in a manger. John 1:17-18 says, “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.”
This time of year picks up speed and busyness as additional items for the day are added to my to-do lists in preparation for Christmas. And because of that, I am more in need of His Presence. Presence that whispers in my ear, I love and accept you my child, just as you are. Come to me, sit still, and let me infuse you with myself.
I want to encourage you that no matter which list you may think you’re on, unwrap the present of His Presence this Christmas.
“His arrival stands against the idea that if you do it right, you get access to His presence. His presence was freely given. He never withheld it.”
Stop whatever you’re doing, no matter how you may feel, and unwrap the gift of His Presence.