They were just little, green squares of paper, but they felt like sacred treasure. The words were misspelled, some letters looked more like abstract art, but they moved my heart to tears.
We were cleaning up Christmas decorations and preparing for the next series. Trees were stored, wrapping paper trashed, and the little manger for the stage was tucked away for next year. But, when I picked up a large stack of little, green squares, I just couldn’t bring myself to drop them into the trash can.
The last lesson on the Sunday before Christmas break was about the wise men. They brought Jesus such strange gifts, the kids thought. We smelled the frankincense and myrrh. We passed around little nuggets of gold. We talked about why those gifts were so meaningful and why the wise men brought the very best things they had to Jesus.
And then, we talked about our best. What could we possibly give Jesus that would be good enough? How could we show Him how thankful we are that He sent His Son to us? How could we possibly offer anything that could show Him how thankful we are for His love?
As the worship band began to play, kids gathered around the altar and picked up little green pieces of paper. They knelt and wrote their prayer to Jesus. They stayed at the altar longer than I expected. It was quieter than I expected.
Finally, the wooden manger on the stage was filled with green pieces of paper. They were beautiful, sweet, gifts presented to Jesus by His precious kids.
With everything put away for Christmas, the only thing left to throw away are those little, green pieces of paper. As I walked to the trash can, I couldn’t help feeling like I was holding something very precious to the Lord. And to me.
I imagined how God must treasure our prayers. I wondered if these little prayers were a fragrance in heaven like Revelation describes the prayers of the saints.
Thankfulness and love is a beautiful gift. What I was holding in my hands, God treasures in His heart. I am in awe of that. And so, very, very thankful.