The Humble Gift of Christmas
I would like to contemplate with you about the way the gift was presented to the world.
This message I write is not entirely about the importance of the gift that God gave us over 2000 years ago in a tiny manger located in the small village of Bethlehem; although that gift had everything to do with this work. I am not slighting the birth of our Lord and Messiah, either. The light He gave us helps us find our way back to a God who loves us, even through the dark mire of this sin-filled world.
Before I start, I would like to ask you a few questions. Answer in the comments at the bottom of the essay.
- What was the first awesome gift you remember you received as a child? Mine was a red tin top that you pushed a handle down to make it spin.
- What was the worst gift you remember receiving? Mine was a car and garage I had to share with my brother.
- When did you start giving gifts to others?
I recall once that there was this big box under the tree with my name on it.
You can imagine the excitement it generated in my young mind. As I unwrapped it, I kept thinking it was an army play-set or an aircraft carrier. To my confusion, it turned out to be a box within a box. Then it happened again and again until I was left with only a matchbox.
All that matchbox held was a five-dollar bill. That was significant money for a kid almost fifty years ago, but it was still disappointing that the grand notion I had expected turned out to be something else. Am I going somewhere with this? Gifts are not always what you want them to be, but that is one of the points I want to make.
Sometimes, the gift comes from the heart of the giver, but the receiver does not show much appreciation.
Take the ugly sweater from Aunt Betty Lou you got back in your freshman year at college - hypothetical suggestion. She knitted that hideous fabric by hand to protect you from the cold so you would not get sick. This turns it into something much more important than a gift or a garment. This becomes an extension of the giver’s love for you; an extension of themselves.
Finally, how would you wrap that most precious gift in the world that everybody needs to have to improve their lives?
Would you wrap it in the prettiest paper with every cut perfect and every seem with a precisely sharpened crease?
Would you make sure the ribbon matches the paper and the bow perfectly centered and each loop evenly fluffed?
Would the tag be specifically addressed to the one you care about in pristine calligraphy?
Or would you wrap it in simple tissue paper tied up with yarn and their name scrawled in Sharpie to await their Christmas morning?
The point I am trying to make...
...is that out of the love that wells from His heart, our God (whether you choose to accept Him or not, He is God of all Creation) gave all humankind a gift. He did not have to. Not everyone will appreciate the gift he gave, and some will even put the gift away in a closet, never giving it another thought. Still, others do not consider beyond their ideals of the presentation of such a magnificent gift and do not appreciate the humble beginnings of a glorious life in the service of the Lord.
I trust many of you who read this will already have a faith that includes the reality of Christ, the workings of the Holy Spirit, and a living embrace in the love of God. It is now your responsibility to share that genuine love among your family, friends, and the community you care about. It is your most important gift, and as long as it is genuine and from the heart, the wrapping and presentation have no bearing on how it is given.
Merry Christmas and may God bless you in the coming year.
Happy gift giving.
© 2020 Eddie Dollgener