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A young woman moved away from home and settled in an apartment in a large metropolitan area. Her parents came out to visit her, and they took pleasure in buying things for her new apartment.

Before they left, they stopped in to see her landlord and paid him three months rent in advance. This was all done out of love for their daughter, but they wouldn’t let the girl hear the end of it. Whenever a disagreement arose, they reminded her of all they had done for her.

Finally, in desperation, the young woman sent them a check for the rent and for the other items her parents had purchased for her. She included a note saying, “Please don’t misunderstand, and know that I love you, but I want you to take this back.

A gift is no good when there are strings attached to it.”

I suspect this is the reason many people do not open themselves to God’s presence. For many people Christmas means putting up decorations, getting together with family and friends, sending cards, and giving gifts and good cheer.

At Christmas time many people are really afraid to open themselves up to God. They think there are strings attached. They think there is some fine print. The only strings that God attaches, the only fine print that God writes –

“Each day are you becoming more and more the person I created you to be?”

“Again this Christmas I send you my Jesus to help show you the way.”

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