Robert was worried. It was Christmas Eve and there was one person for whom he hadn’t bought a present—his best friend Eunice. And Eunice was very special to him.
She was about Robert’s age, about ten, but she seemed to have everything. She didn’t need anything for her house; she’d got plenty of clothes and toys; and she seemed to have everything that Robert could possibly think of. Not only that, but the shops were about to close. And even though, he knew he would have one other opportunity to buy her a present before he saw her later on Boxing Day, he still didn’t know what to get her.
“What can I possibly get?” said Robert to himself. “I’ve only got first thing Boxing Day to get it.”
Now needless to say, Robert did not enjoy his Christmas lunch. He was far too worried about what he could get Eunice. He didn’t enjoy his Christmas tea either. And that was despite all the lovely things that he had to eat and drink.
“This is ridiculous,” he said. “It’s not as if Christmas is supposed to be about eating and drinking and giving presents anyway. It’s about God son, and how he was born in this world, so he could take our blame for everything we do wrong. It’s about God’s gift to us. It’s about God having a way to treat us as though we are perfect . . .”
And at that something clicked. “Christmas is not about giving presents . . . it’s about how we receive God’s present.” And all of a sudden, Robert began to smile.
“I’m such a fool,” he said. “There is something that Eunice hasn’t got. She hasn’t got eternal life! She doesn’t know God. But when she dies, when she leaves this world, I want her to be living forever with God. I even want her to have a relationship with God here and now. I want her to have the best present she could possibly have.”
But Robert realised, it wasn’t something that he could buy anyway; he would have to tell his friend all about it. He’d have to tell her himself why God came up with idea of Christmas.
That God came up with the plan to send a baby, who would grow up, and face punishment on our behalf, for all the things we do wrong. So that if we accept what Jesus has done for us—if we trust in God—when we die, we can live forever with God in heaven.
So that night Robert made his plan. He was going to tell his best friend about Jesus. He was going to give her the best Christmas present that anyone could possibly give. He was going to tell her about how to make friends with God.
Of course, he knew it wouldn’t be that easy. He knew it wasn’t just a matter of telling her, because she would have to accept it for herself. He also knew that the whole thing could backfire horribly; that she could take the whole thing the wrong way and never want to talk to him again. But he knew that if she really was his best friend, it wasn’t something he should keep from her anyway. There was a risk in giving this present, but it was one he needed to take.
So having decided what he was going to do, he relaxed, and finally began to enjoy what was left of Christmas Day.
Of course, what happened next, I’m going to leave to your imagination. But I will tell you that Robert and Eunice are still the best of friends.
Nevertheless, if you are still looking to get someone a present this year—a really special present—then you could tell someone about God’s present too. After all, Christmas is not supposed to be about food and drink or even us giving presents. It’s about God’s present to us, and what we have done with it. Christmas should not be stressful or expensive; it’s supposed to be about how we respond to God’s present of love.
And that is what Robert finally understood. So much so, he wanted to share it with his best friend Eunice. That was Robert’s solution to the problem of Christmas. What’s yours?
Posted 16th December 2019
© 2019, Brian A Curtis