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Giving A Box of Love

December 22, 2007
By Dr. Ellis Conley, Pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Elkins
While helping her mother for Christmas, a little girl asked about the meaning of the holiday. The mother told her that Christmas was the time of the year we celebrate the birthday of Jesus, God’s son. The little girl asked her mother why Jesus didn’t get presents under everyone’s tree if it was his birthday. The mother shared with her daughter that the tradition of the gift exchange was a special way of showing love for one another. The daughter seemed satisfied with the answer and the discussion changed to other things.

The night before Christmas arrived and the little girl came down the stairs carrying a gift-wrapped package from her room. She ever so gently placed the package under the Christmas tree.

“What’s in the box?” her mother asked. “This is a gift for Jesus, the little girl replied. “I am leaving it under the tree so he can open it tonight while I am asleep.”

Not wanting her daughter to be disappointed, the mother snuck downstairs during the night and opened the package. To her surprise, there was nothing in the box. The next morning her daughter raced into the living room to see if her package had been opened. Of course, it had! Seeing the package open, the little girl shouted to her mother, “Look Mommy, Jesus opened my present last night.”

The mystified mother walked over to her daughter and gently asked her what she had given to Jesus. The little girl explained, “I figured that Jesus has about everything he needs, and I can’t give him much ’cause I’m just a little girl. But, there is one thing I can give him. I just decided to give him a Box Of Love.”

The little girl was absolutely right. Jesus does have just about everything he needs. There’s not much we can give to him this Christmas ’cause we are just common, ordinary, sinful folk. But there is one thing we can give our Lord this Christmas. We can give him a Box of Love.

But how? I can think of a variety of ways. Christmas can be a time of FORGIVENESS. Maybe you’ve been harboring a resentment or an ill feeling about someone. In the purity and holiness of this season, this can be a time of forgiveness. Could it be that you really need to give someone the same forgiveness that you received as a precious gift from our Lord? I can imagine anything that would please our Lord more. That’s a Box of Love.

Maybe this Christmas could be a time of RENEWED COMMITMENT to following the ways of Jesus. The wonderful stories of Jesus’ anticipated coming and birth as they are read again this season can become a springboard within you for renewed Bible reading and study, earnest prayer and devotion, and a heightened commitment to follow in the ways of the One we read so much about this time of year. I can’t imagine anything that would please our Lord more. That’s a Box of Love.

Possibly, Christmas could be a time of REACHING OUT with grace and love. During this season, there is a tremendous amount of emotions and needs within God’s children. Not only do the hungry need fed, the naked need clothed, and prisoners need visited, but lonely people could use a friend, shut-ins could use a special carol, and the ill and bereaved need a smile of hope and a prayer of support. I can’t imagine anything that would please our Lord more. That’s a Box of Love.

The possibilities are endless. Acts of love can be found and creativity can be stirred as we open ourselves to the presence of God’s Spirit in our midst. While the little girl’s box was empty, our Box of Love can be full or acts, grateful responses, graceful initiatives, and heartfelt meditations to and on behalf of our Lord.

Why don’t you fill your box today with all that is good, and right, and holy this Christmas? I can’t imagine anything that would please our Lord more. That’s a Box of Love!



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