As I’m finishing writing this, it feels like could go for a run in this beautiful fall weather that we’re having these days. I certainly doesn’t feel like winter is coming; definitely can’t identify with the song that begins with “oh the weather outside is frightful…” But just look at the calendar—it’s gonna be Christmas soon. My how the year has gone!
If you’ve been anywhere in town lately, of course you’ve seen the holiday decorations. In fact, you’ve probably seen some house lights already! I haven’t done any real shopping yet, but I have done some price checking. And as we go about selecting just the right gifts for those we love and care about, we will undoubtedly be comparing the price tags with the wallet to see if it will work out. Sometimes we’ll select something pricey, sometimes more modest. I find myself having a conversation with myself that goes something like this:
“How much does it cost?”
“Can I really afford that?”
“Is it something they need?”
“Do they really deserve something this nice?”
“Maybe they’ll like this.”
“Will this gift express my love?”
“It’s the thought that counts, right?”
Well, I’m glad that there was no wavering in eternity past when God put together the plan for the salvation of man.
“Will my deep love be expressed by this gift?”
“Is this something they really need?
“Can I really afford to send my Son?”
“How much does it cost? His life?”
There you have it. Not a rationalization to spend excessively this Christmas, but a reminder. A reminder that might even be overstated. Yes, we know of God’s great gift. Yes, we know the price Christ paid at Calvary. But do we consider the cost to us? A free gift of grace, yes, but often times costly in following Jesus.
“Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:27
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Choosing against the world; choosing to love others as yourself; choosing to be thankful in difficult times; choosing to worship when we’re laughing, crying; choosing Jesus is not cheap. What does it cost? Everything.