DAY 33: “What Can I Give Him?”

“What can you give God this Christmas? Give Him your heart. Let him in, to stay.”

When I was a small girl, I sang in the “Carol Choir” at church. This group was for first through third graders. We wore white robes when we sang on Sundays and our group was quite large for such a small church. It was a tradition to go from Carol Choir (kindergarten through second grade) to Chorister Choir (grades three through six)  and then Chancel Choir. I never got to do Chancel Choir because I started playing the pipe organ for Sunday Services when I was 11. We rehearsed once a week and had a lot of fun. Christmas rolled around and the director decided she wanted to do the song “What Can I Give Him.” She would need soloists. My eyes got REALLY BIG and they quickly froze to the back of my face.  I thought to myself with my head down… not me!  The director immediately called on me and asked me to sing a verse in front of everyone. Somehow, I opened my mouth and sounds came out! She then informed me that the verse was mine to sing on Christmas Eve! “Oh boy,” I said with a forced grin on mh face… “thank you?” The hymn is a example of a beautiful melody paired perfectly with the words.

“What Can I give Him” by Christina Georgina Rossetti

What can I give Him, poor as I am?

If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb.

If I were a wise man, I would do my part,

Yet, what can I give Him?

Give Him my heart.

Christina Georgina Rossetti was born in London, on December 5, 1830. She was home-schooled and published many works including poems, prose, a book of prayers for every day of the year, and others.  She wrote very few hymns, but other works have been set to her writings.

“What Can I give Him” was inspired by Matthew 2:1-12 (story of the Wise Men). I encourage you to read and experience this on your own!

“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks by night. And the angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which will be to all people.” – Luke 2:8-10 (story of the shepherds)

“And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God.” – 2 Corinthians 8:5

The Wise Men and shepherds came to worship the baby Jesus. As trained students of the stars, the wise men observed an unexplained phenomenon in the heavens. They interpreted this as a sign of the birth of the King of the Jews and set out to find Him. They brought Him very valuable gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to worship Him.

The shepherds were out in the fields. The Lord sent His angel, (which must have been massive if it was His personal one), and the glory of the Lord was so intense that they fell in Godly fear and worship. They too knew that the Messiah had been born and went to worship Him.

The common denominator in these stories is the heart. The Wise Men and shepherds were moved to go, moved to give, and moved to worship the baby Jesus. Something happened to their hearts. It’s like the Grinch. Their hearts grew 100 times that day. Jesus moved on their hearts before they even met Him.  They went to worship Him for who He is; they went to give Him their heart. We sometimes get so busy that we forget the greatest gift is to give God our heart. God gave His heart — by giving us Jesus — and we are to give Him ours in return. That’s all He really wants; He wants our whole heart.

So, what can you give God this Christmas? Give Him your heart. Let him in, to stay.

There is another childhood song that I remember singing. It sums everything up:

“Come into my heart, into my heart, come into my heart Lord Jesus.

Come in today, come in to stay, Come into my heart Lord Jesus.”

Say this with me: “Father, this Christmas I give you my whole heart. Come in, to stay. You are the greatest gift that I could ever receive and I thank you for it! In Jesus’s name. Amen. “