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                                 What do you give to the One who has everything? 

What do you give to someone who has everything? It’s something we wonder about this time of the year as December 25th inches closer and closer. We usually ask this question in regard to a loved one who is tough to shop for, searching our minds, surfing the internet, and canvassing the local stores for a perfect gift. And we are not necessarily looking for the most expensive gift. Usually, we’re trying to find the gift that best fits the person receiving it. 

What do you give to a God who has everything? This is the question the writer of Psalm 50 is asking. The people of God are offering a steady stream of costly gifts, e.g., their finest bulls and goats. Generous gifts, to be sure, but not the perfect gift. Expensive gifts, yet gifts that aren’t quite fitting for the Creator of the universe. 

What do we, 21st century followers of Christ, give to a God who has everything? Bulls and goats are no longer in fashion. How about gold, frankincense and myrrh? Been there. Done that. Perhaps a regular contribution to the church or your favorite ministry via check or automatic payment will do the trick. The psalmist knows these gifts are not enough, and deep down, we know that too. 

The only gift fitting for our Creator is the one God mysteriously allows us to keep to ourselves. The psalmist prays, “Offer unto God a sacrifice of thanksgiving.” In other words, lay your heart on the altar. Offer your Self of your own volition - body, mind, and spirit - as the gift. The Apostle Paul says something similar in Romans 12. “…by the mercies of God present your bodies as a living sacrifice…” The gift fit for a God who has everything is nothing more and nothing less than you. 

Why give ourselves to a God who has everything? The answer is pretty basic Sunday school material, but profound in its own right. Christ asks nothing of us that he is not willing to give himself so we give ourselves because Christ gave himself to us. And he does not coerce or strong arm us into this response. More often than not he patiently waits, wooing us until we give up exchanging meaningless gifts with him and are ready to genuinely present our authentic selves. No extravagant gifts or Herculean efforts are required, only our needy and grateful presence before the Presence.