“Some gifts are more than just a gift,” is the tag line of the 2018 John Lewis Christmas commercial. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNbSgMEZ_Tw It traces Elton John’s piano playing from the present day back to the time when his parent’s gave their boy a piano for Christmas. This was not just a gift to be unwrapped and used for a time, but a truly life-building gift for him. The thrust of the advert is that this gift to John shaped his life and enabled him to serve and give to others in music and song. This gives an interesting perspective to our giving at Christmas – what is going to be life-building for the recipient?
This advert also captures the gospel message so well. Paul exclaims “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift” (2 Corinthians 9v15). He says this because, “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” (9v8) . In other words, the gift of Jesus is a life-transforming and life-building gift: because of Jesus’s life, death and resurrection, we are able to live a life which is abounding in good work; serving our Lord and others in every way. Or again in 2 Corinthians 5v17-18 “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us a ministry of reconciliation” : His gift in us enables us to pass it on.
The backing song to the advert (“Your song”) has the repeated line, “I hope you don’t mind that I put down in words, how wonderful life is, now you’re in the world.” My heart and mind go straight to Jesus Christ with these words – Jesus won’t mind at all us putting this into words!
May the love of Christ fill us and transform us,
With love and blessing,