THIS IS NOT a product placement blog.
Unless, of course, Wendy’s or Googie Burger would like to buy some ad space.
With Christmas almost here, I’ve been thinking about how Jesus might want me to celebrate his birthday.
I know. Christmas is probably not his real birthday. But it is the day we commemorate his birth.
We bring gifts to birthday parties. So I started thinking about what gift I could bring Jesus.
A week ago a good buddy of mine celebrated his 60th birthday. As the day approached, I was shocked to hear from his wife that no one had ever given him a birthday party. Ever. In 60 years.
No, no, no, no, no. That would not do.
My buddy is in my Bible study class. He’s one of the lead teachers.
With his wife as the conductor, we orchestrated a surprise birthday party for him after church, in a nearby restaurant.
Just about every soul in the Bible study class showed up. When one lady customer sitting nearby asked what was going on with such a large group, my wife said they were setting up a first-ever birthday party for a 60-year-old soul.
The lady fought back tears. When my buddy walked in, that lady made the most noise of anyone. She could whistle down a train.
I had given the group time to set up by taking my buddy home to let the dog out.
When we walked into the restaurant, which erupted in cheers and a train whistle, my buddy thought he had missed the memo about a class meeting and that everyone was cheering because the last man had finally arrived.
He didn’t know what was going on until we started to sing “Happy Birthday to You.”
I had thought about what to get him. I didn’t have to think long. I know what he likes.
The dude has a Wendy’s fetish. He eats there so much that I suspect he goes to different Wendy’s restaurants so the employees don’t realize how much he eats there.
Personally, I don’t care if I never eat at Wendy’s again. In this life or the next.
There went my Wendy’s product placement ad.
But my friend loves the joint. So I got him a Wendy’s gift certificate. A buck for every year of his life.
When you know someone well enough, you know what they like.
I’ve never met Jesus in the flesh. But I’d like to think I know him as well as can be expected, through his teachings and his Spirit at work within me.
I think I know what kind of gift he would like me to give him for his birthday.
You’ve heard those stories of kids who have birthday parties and tell their friends to bring gifts for some orphans, or the homeless, or kids with dads in prison? I’m thinking that’s the kind of gift Jesus would like.
He’s the Kid who doesn’t want anything for himself. He wants us to take what we would have given him and give it to someone else who needs it as much as he wants them to have it.
I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.
…. Whenever you did one of these things
to someone overlooked or ignored,
that was me—you did it to me. (Matthew 25:35-36, 40, The Message)
Merry Christmas to all.