Have you watched the John Lewis Christmas advert – it’s part of our national Christmas preparations. This year, just in case it’s passed you by, it stars Elton John. We’re taken back to his childhood and a present that changed his life. He runs downstairs on Christmas morning to unwrap his first piano. The advert ends with the words:
‘some gifts are more than just a gift’.
It cost millions to make. A £50 Christmas advert has been watched by millions: it’s called ‘Love is a Gift’. Here a young man is decorating his tree and counting down the days to Christmas. On Christmas Day, he sits alone and listens to a cassette tape his mum made before she died. We’re shown several tape recordings, each one recorded by her for him to listen to on Christmas Day. As he listens to the last tape she recorded, a tear falls down his face. The film ends with the words: ‘love is a gift that lasts forever’.
Christmas is so much about love and gifts. We all desire to be loved. We all love to be connected by gifts. Such feelings are good.
Those adverts though locate love and gifts in the wrong place. Another Christmas present, even with the love of a mum, isn’t there forever.
The real place to find everlasting love is elsewhere, in the everlasting gift of God’s own Son.
Gifts do make a difference, but all the gifts in the world won’t make the forever difference we truly need. And human love is a treasure beyond price, but it doesn’t last forever. The gift that makes a real difference and the love that lasts forever only comes from the One who lives forever, whose love makes all the difference.
Jesus loves all of us and gives His life to us. He offers us His love and His gift today – a gift that is truly more than just a gift, and a love that really lasts forever.