Jacob is a young boy with a gift for carpentry who is busy finishing up a project for a contest. His teacher, Rabbi Simeon, not only instructs him in carpentry, but also teaches him important lessons about God. Rabbi has just taught Jacob that when you give a gift to one of God's children, it's like giving a gift to God. The night before the contest while working on his project, Jacob has fallen asleep in the workshop and is awakened by a bright light. The light is a star which is directly over Jacob's father's stable. As he approaches the stable, he sees a man, a woman, and a newborn baby which is laying in the straw. Remembering what Rabbi Simeon had told him, Jacob returns to the workshop and takes his project (a feeding trough) to the new family. The morning of the contest, the Rabbi is pleased to find out that Jacob has acted upon the lesson he learned and has truly given a gift to God.
So many people get caught up in the craziness of Christmas and stressed out by the gift giving. Jacob's Gift by Max Lucado is such a great reminder to slow down and give from the heart.
I also love that it talks about God giving us gifts.
"Jacob, I want to tell you something." He places his hand on Jacob's shoulder. "God gives gifts, Jacob. Some can sing, others teach, and you--you can build. God has given you the gift of woodworking."
Jacob blushed with pride.
"God gives us gifts," the rabbi continued, "so that we can share them with others. When we give a gift to one of His children, it's like giving a gift to God. Remember that."
"I will," Jacob looked up at the rabbi. "Thank you."
Use the gifts you have been given.