Heathdale flower 13th December 2023

The Perfect Gift

Navigating the challenge of finding the perfect Christmas gift, we are blessed to recognise the profound and unparalleled nature of God's gift of grace through Jesus Christ.

Heathdale flower

For me, one of the challenges of Christmas is trying to find the perfect gift for my kids. Last weekend, Sue and I started the conversation we always seem to have about two weeks out from Christmas and that is, “what are we going to buy the kids for Christmas?” I assume there are similar conversations in your household!

This sort of conversation always seems to develop into something like a game of tennis. It begins with a suggestion followed by a response and then goes back and forth until the solution is finally found!

We started by focusing on our eldest son. I served with, “What does he need?” “Fault” is the call, this is clearly not the way to start the conversation!

Second serve, “Clothes?” I ask. Return of serve by Sue, “He’s not the sort you can buy off the rack for, so we’d have to either chance it or take him shopping.”

Going for the winner, backhand down the line by me, “Is there a gadget that he would like?” Sue volleys back, “He’s got so many gadgets that he doesn’t need another one!”

The rally continues until Sue comes up with the cross-court winner. “What about we think of something that we can do or give that speaks to him through one of his love languages?” There it is, game, set and match to Sue.

You may have heard about the concept ‘love languages,’ described by Gary Chapman in his book of the same title. Gary Chapman suggests that there are five ways to express love: receiving gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, and physical touch. He believes that, emotionally, all of us need to receive love as well as give love through one of these five languages. He also states that it’s vital that people do not use the love languages that they like the most but rather the love languages that their loved ones can best receive. For our eldest, his key love languages are words of affirmation and quality time.

I don’t know what it’s like for you, but for me, I find the process of choosing the right gift for someone really difficult. You want the gift to be personal, valued and appreciated, and that is why this passage from the New Testament Book of 2 Corinthians spoke so strongly to me when I read it recently.

“Remember: A stingy planter gets a stingy crop; a lavish planter gets a lavish crop. I want each of you to take plenty of time to think it over, and make up your own mind what you will give. God loves it when the giver delights in the giving. God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you're ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done.” (2 Corinthians 9:6-8, The Message)

As God looks at us, I have sometimes wondered what He understands to be the ideal gift for us? Is it a dose of patience, a measure of peace, a helping of joy, or a healthy ration of hope?

As I read the Bible more deeply, I don’t think that God has any trouble choosing the right gift for each of us. He is crystal clear about the gift that you and I need. He has the perfect gift for each of us, no matter our preferred love language! It’s the gift of grace that He has lavished upon us through Jesus Christ. This is the gift of par excellence!

The realisation of the perfectness of God’s gift to you and me was brought home to me when I read these words from Charles Sell’s in his book Unfinished Business. These words deeply impressed on me what an incredible gift God’s grace is in the shape of Jesus Christ:

“If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator.
If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist.
If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist.
If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer.
But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Saviour!"

When, on that day that Jesus was born, as Mary looked at the face of her newborn son, I wonder did she realise that she was holding for humanity God’s ‘indescribable gift’?

We need to acknowledge that God has given to us an indescribable gift. A gift that has no comparison, that is unique beyond measure and a gift from which many other blessings flow! This is why it is a joy to celebrate Christmas.

My prayer for each member of this community, whether they be a parent, a student or a staff member, is that each of us will not only receive but also embrace and delight in this this indescribable gift of grace of Jesus Christ this Christmas.

As our school year concludes, I would like to restate what I said at our recent End-of-Year Celebration nights:

“To this wonderful community, on behalf of the staff, I wish to thank you for all the support and encouragement you have provided for us during 2023. As you have supported and encouraged the staff, I’m reminded we are in fact in partnership together. Our community is not defined by a sense of ‘us and them’. We are a community that is held together and sustained through the blessing of God’s love.”

I wish you and your family a very blessed Christmas and I look forward to reconnecting in 2024.


Ross Grace
Executive Principal