The Gift of Love

EarthGiftWhat was the first gift given to humans?  Many say it was love which is a great answer but take a look at Genesis (in the bible or Torah) and you will see  in Genesis 1: 29-30 it was things of this earth so we could live.  God gave us what we needed to live and prosper on this earth. It was us humans that messed it up.

Giving gifts has been a tradition since Earth was created. God gave humans plants and animals. Eve gave Adam an apple which has given the rest of the human generations,  for tens of thousands of years,  headaches and heartaches.  1 his presence by jeremy winborg portrait of mary and the baby jesus oil painting nativity Then came the first gift of Christmas which was love in the form of a baby.  In a little stable or cave when there was no Fabreeze to cover the lovely oder of the cows, donkey, goats, and chickens. God loved humans so much that he sent his son to be born as a human, grow and go through all the good and hardships humans went through and to learn how to balance being human and being God’s son.  Kids think they have it hard today, ha.

I could not imagine the taunting and name calling he had to go through. For him it was simple: he was God’s son. He also had Earthly parents that he had to respect and obey. He also was Jewish and had to follow the Earthly laws of that religion and the man made laws that surrounded each of the 10 commandments  to understand all that they went through to get to this point. All the traditions he learned and grew up with knowing that they were of the earth and man made not of the heavens. He was a child who not only had to balance chores and education, but two different realms. He couldn’t afford to get distracted by girlfriends and marriage. The bullying he went through was no picnic either.

His mother knew he was here for greater things and she could only talk to two people about it; her husband Joseph and her cousin Elizabeth. It’s safe to say she didn’t get to vent very much in her life. She had to hold it all in. She had the gift of the most understanding of mothers. She knew when he was born, his time on earth was limited and she had to share him with “the world”.  She knew she was just his earthly caretaker and she had to accept that. So she taught him about faith and answered all the questions a mother answers for her growing child. She taught him responsibility to family and friends. She showed understanding when he ran off to the temple and kind of answered back, ” Don’t you know I would be in my father’s house?”  She realized her place in his heart. So, Mary gave her son the gift of love from a mother which included patience, understanding, discipline, faith, and unspoken heartache. God knew she was strong enough to handle it, that’s why he chose her.

reflection of cross in eye

So, God sent his son to endure the pains of growing up as a human. He knew what it was like to be different than the other children. He knew what it was like to be teased and probably bullied. He knew what it was like to feel like you are a disappointment to your parents. (he learned carpentry, but how good was he?).  He knew what it felt like to like girls but to stay away from them.  He knew what it was like to sit amongst people who didn’t understand what he knew and what he saw. He knew what most kids, even today, feel and think. He’s been there and done that and then he was betrayed, beaten, flogged, bullied, carried a 200 pound piece of tree for a few miles, fell a few times, got hit for falling, then had huge nails driven into his wrists and feet (splitting bone, cartilage and muscles).  If that wasn’t bad enough, the position he was in made it very difficult to breathe. He endured physical, emotional and psychological pain that we could only imagine.

God gave the gifts of the earth and  love. We should use the earth in a loving way. We should take care of the gifts that he has given us such as the animals, the trees, the plants, and the ocean.  We should seek and value our spiritual gifts whether it be teaching, encouraging, accounting, or care taking. Monetary gifts can not go with us when we go to heaven however these other gifts of love, of the spirit, they are the purposes we have awaiting us in heaven.