Our extended family had a very simple Christmas this year; the only gifts exchanged were puzzles, one for each family unit. We had a blessed time being able to focus on opening these heartfelt and thoughtful gifts, and we shared merry laughter throughout the afternoon. Our focus was more easily turned to our Savior, in inner worship and thankfulness.
We saw the four beautifully wrapped gifts sitting under the tree. Though there are no longer little ones in our family, the urge still rises to pick a gift and rip open the wrapping. In our gift exchange this year, four gifts sat side by side--which one would we choose? They were all so prettily wrapped.
The glitter, the colorful paper, the bows--it all makes me want to grab and open. Who wouldn't want to open such a beautiful gift?
Even the manger scene is pretty--the ceramic figurines my mom hand-painted are beautiful. They are nestled safely inside the pretty stable. But I know differently.
While they were there [in Bethlehem],
the days were completed for her to give birth.
And she gave birth to her firstborn son;
and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger,
because there was no room for them in the inn.
Luke 2:6-7 nasb
He wasn't wrapped in glittering satin. He wasn't placed in a golden crib. He was born unknown, except for a few chosen by God. He was wrapped in cloths, and placed in an empty cow trough.
...He has no stately form or majesty
That we should look upon Him,
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.
He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Isaiah 53:2b-3 nasb
Few wanted to unwrap that particular gift. Few were willing to accept it, even though it was free. Thank You, Lord, for opening my eyes to the greatest gift I have ever received.
It's nice to receive gifts! Remember that God sent Jesus, His Son, as the greatest gift. He asks nothing, and yet everything, of you. Surrender your life. Receive everything in return. Won't you open His gift today?
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