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Edward F. Markquart

Christmas: Children's Sermons
The Best Christmas Gift

The best Christmas gift is the gift of one’s self.

There once was a little boy by the name of David.  It was during World War II, and David’s father was a soldier fighting in Germany. It was September, and the father wrote to his little son, David.  He asked, “What would you like more than anything in the whole wide world?”  David wrote back:  “Daddy, I would love to have a puppy. I would love to have a puppy more than anything else in the world.”  Well, on evening of December 24th, there was a knock on the door.  David answered, and there was Santa Claus who questioned:  “Is your name David?”  “Yes, my name is David.” “What would you like more than anything in the whole wide world?”  “I would like a puppy.”  Santa reached down into his big bag, opened it up, and there was a little Pekinese puppy.  David was so happy.

Months passed; the war was still on; and soon it was September.  The father again wrote to his son and asked:  “And what would you like for Christmas this year?”  The son wrote back:  “Daddy, I wish you would come home but mom says that you can’t, so I would like an aquarium with angel fish.”  Soon it was Christmas Eve and there was a knock at the door and sure enough, it was Santa Claus who asked:  “Is your name David?” “Yes.” “And what do you want more than anything else in the world?”  Santa soon brought out an aquarium and a bag full of angelfish and David was happy.

Life passed; months passed; and David’s father was still in Germany. He wrote to his son in September, “Son, I am in the war and can’t come just now but what would you like more than anything else in the world?”  David wrote back:  “I want you, Daddy.  I want you to come home and be with me.  That is what I want.”  the father replied in his letter, “I can’t come home, but what thing do you want for Christmas more than anything in the whole wide world?”  David wrote back reluctantly, with an inner sadness, “cowboy boots.”  Time passed; it was soon Christmas Eve and there was the traditional knock on the door, and the Santa knelt down to the little boy and asked, “And what can I give you for Christmas this year?”  David finally broke down and cried on Santa’s shoulders, “I want my Dad.  That’s what I want.  I want my Dad to come and be with me.”  Santa said, “Is there anything else?  Like cowboy boots?”  “OK.”  As David was tugging at his cowboy boots, trying to pull them onto his feet, he glanced up and Santa was taking off his white beard and his red hat and his white hair, and…and…it was his Dad!!!  David ran over and threw his arms around his Dad, hugged him, squeezed him saying over and over again, “You’re home. It’s you. You’re home.”  His Dad said:  “It was a very long trip, but I had to come to be with you this Christmas Eve.” 

You see, more valuable than puppies; more valuable than as aquariums; more valuable than cowboy boots; … more valuable than gold, diamonds and rubies; more valuable than all of this, is the gift of one’s self in love.  What is gold compared to that?   Compared to the gift of giving one’s self in love.  This is wisdom: giving yourself in love to other people and God. 

That is what Christmas is all about.  Christmas is about that night when God came down the stairway of the stars to give himself to you in the baby Jesus.  Tonight God comes down the stairway of stars and knocks at the door of your heart and your house to give himself to you and me once again, to give us his Spirit, his Self, his love, his peace.  What is gold compared to that?


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