The Greatest Gift

Alicia Bills

Alicia Marsh is one of our amazing ReFuel leaders and basketball coaches. She has served with ignition since 2012 and brings so much to this ministry. She has an incredible heart for students and parents and her deep abiding faith in Jesus is an inspiration to any who have the privilege to know and serve with her. In “real life”, Alicia is the Assistant Director of AU Central at American University. Lucky campus!

Christmas has always been one of my favorite times of year. As a child I used to LOVE being in the Christmas plays and cantatas at my church. (For those of you who know me now, you might find this ironic as standing in front of a crowd freaks me out, but anyway, I digress).

There was one play in particular that is forever etched in my mind and forever changed the way I look at Christmas. I actually don’t remember the plot of the play very well.

I just remember this one scene.

I was supposed to kneel down next to the manger and look at Jesus (aka my cabbage patch doll named Henry) while singing the third verse of How Great Thou Art. I was 8 years old and I remember thinking How Great Thou Art doesn’t seem very Christmas-like. I wonder why they picked that song?

But as I knelt there looking at the manger and singing those words, I was struck by the magnitude of the gift that was given to us all. I sang the words:

And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

As the spotlight dimmed, I remember feeling an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the gift God gave me in sending his Son to die for my sins.

This little baby Jesus, I so loved to celebrate at Christmastime, was going to grow up and pay the ultimate sacrifice for me.

20 years later, I still am awestruck by the gift God gave me of his one and only Son. I pray this Christmas and those to come that I don’t lose sight of the love, grace, peace and hope God’s gift to me brings.