It would be rude to leave a gift under the Christmas tree that had your name on it. How inconsiderate knowing that someone went to a lot of trouble to leave you a special gift to be discovered Christmas morning and enjoyed the whole year ahead. Time, money, sweat, wrapping labor, and scotch tape have all been invested for you, all represented in the gift with your name on it. Someone cares deeply for you. Someone may have risked life and limb on Black Friday just for you.

Yet it happens every Christmas. The gift is there under the tree, untouched and untaken. It has your name on it. A lot was sacrificed to put this gift there for you. The plans for this gift were thought about before anyone on the earth was even thought about. The giver of this package wants more than anything for you to accept the gift. He wants you to pick it up and unwrap it. He knows you will love it because it is a unique gift that will meet every need you ever had or even thought you had. And this gift never breaks, gets old, wears out, or loses its ability to function.

Perhaps you’ve guessed what the untaken gift is. Perhaps you’ve left it under the Christmas tree year after year, not even realizing it has your name on it. The Giver continues to give it and hopes someday you will accept his gift as your very own. In a particular way, your life will be untouched and untaken if you continue to pass the tree and the gift with your name on it below.

People leave the gift of salvation given by Jesus Christ, our Lord, untouched and untaken, left alone under the tree every Christmas. God’s sacrifice for you didn’t come on Black, but Good Friday. He sacrificed heaven for all who will believe. The risk offered is that you will accept the gift of forgiveness of your sins and accept Jesus Christ into your heart and life. He is the ultimate gift. He wants nothing more during this Christmas season than for you to accept him, to unwrap him, and to follow him everywhere you go in life.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. – Isaiah 9:6

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16

Jim Dunn is executive director of Church Multiplication and Discipleship for The Wesleyan Church.