I remember going to a birthday party when I was a child. It was for my friend William. William and I were in the same homeroom class, and we always played together at recess. He was my best friend.
I went to his house with a great gift wrapped in colorful paper. I set the present on the table when I came in, as did all the other kids who were invited. We went through the normal routine of playing games and eating cake and ice cream. Then we got to the all-important part of the party: opening the gifts!
I wanted everyone to see the gift I brought, so I rushed to the table and snatched it up. I walked across the room and with a big smile on my face, I presented it to Michael. William’s jaw nearly hit the floor! It was his birthday, but I was giving his gift to Michael!
Michael tore open the gift, and marveled at what I had brought. Then he jumped up, grabbed the gift he brought, and presented it to Jason. Jason gave his gift to Casey. And on and on it went. Each child was given a gift ... each child but one.
You guessed it. William was the only one who didn’t get a present.
He sat quietly at the table with tears streaming down his face because no one had given him anything. It was his birthday, and he was the only one without a present. It was his birthday party, and he was the forgotten guest of honor.
William watched, brokenhearted, as the rest of us played with our gifts for the remainder of the afternoon. As we left the house, we thanked William for such a great party, and told him we hoped he would invite us back next year.
Can you imagine if such an event actually occurred? Perhaps it never happened to my childhood friend William, but it does happen every year to our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. Christmas is when we celebrate His birth (Luke 2:1-20), yet we’re often so busy giving gifts to others, he stands by as the forgotten guest of honor.
Don’t get me wrong: It’s OK o give gifts to others at Christmastime. Just make sure you don’t forget Jesus. Give Him a special gift this year. Give Him your praise. Give Him your love. And if you haven’t done so already, give Him your heart.
What better birthday present could He receive, than your acceptance of Him as Savior and Lord?
Parrish Myers is a local minister. His column appears biweekly in Sunday Life and on gainesvilletimes.com/life.