This year more than any other year we’ve seen the idea of essential vs. non-essential play out, in regards to workers, and even in regards to what we buy at the stores. This has made me really reflect on what is essential and non-essential in my own life, though I’m fairly sure I still haven’t gotten the idea quite right.
Though I’ve found that most of what I now see as essential lies in one category, relationships. The pandemic may have taken away jobs, vacations, and, income, but it couldn’t take away relationships. In some cases, it even highlighted the need for our relationships to be better. Perhaps part of that has to do with the old adage, "distance makes the heart grow fonder." During this pandemic, we've learned that we are built for relationships, great and small.
So, as we come to a season, what is really post-Thanksgiving until Christmas, I once again think about what is essential and what is non-essential. Christmas has the capability to even draw those with the most philanthropic hearts, into the land of capitalistic desires. Whether it be on billboards, the television, the radio, and on social media, the suggestions of what will bring us and our families Christmas joy is everywhere. Though looking back to the idea of what is essential, isn’t it the relationships that should bring joy?
There is one gift though that is essential and embodies everything about the greatest joy being found in relationships? This one gift surpasses all our wants and meets our greatest need, a savior. In 2 Corinthians 8-9, Paul discusses the Christian duty to provide financial support for Christians in Jerusalem who were facing economic hardship because of the famine in the first century. At that time, it was a new concept to Christians to raise money for other people many miles away whom one had never met. Paul exhorts their generosity as obedience and confession to the gospel of Christ through the grace of God because of the surpassing grace God had given them.
While their gift was essential to many in need in Jerusalem and was all about relationship, especially to those less fortunate, Paul closes the second Corinthians 9 stating, “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! While Some versions say inexpressible or unspeakable, the Greek word used here is found nowhere else in the New Testament and is translated as meaning “unutterable.” It means that words cannot describe and no human can fully appreciate the greatness of the gift. This unutterable gift is Christ, the most important relationship of your life, and the only way to a right relationship with the Father.
When we accept Jesus, the indescribable gift of God, that we will never be the same again because of how He affects our lives. God, the forgiveness of the sins of Christians from the death of Jesus on the Cross, or the love of God. Jesus purchased our reconciliation. Jesus enabled us to receive reconciliation and open the gift. Jesus himself shines forth as himself the indescribable gift — God in the flesh. Look to Jesus this Christmas. Receive the reconciliation that he purchased and from that relationship, should flow everything else that is essential. If anyone asks you what was your favorite gift? Respond with “God’s
Indescribable Gift” Jesus Christ!