The memory is still fresh … even after thirty-nine years.
For almost a month before Christmas I lived in the glow of a gift’s anticipated reception. I knew it was a gift my son wanted but assumed was too expensive. And the cost in 1974 dollars put some strain on the holiday budget to be sure. But I could scarcely wait for the joy that would accompany that package.
This remembrance helps me come to grips with the anticipation God must have had, ready to give the world a gift that cost Him infinitely more than my gift to my son. My gift would provide delight and hours of entertainment. His Gift had the potential to set the world right.
My gift cost a lot. His Gift cost Him his only Son.
And as the story unfolds on earth beginning centuries before with prophetic words and continues with celestial intervention putting a certain star over a precise location … as a world ruler issues a tax-producing political edict and shepherds are determining their next grazing grounds … as rooms are filled in Bethlehem and angels await their choir cue to enter up-stage … as it all comes together in an elaborate plan put in place before time began … watch God!
He peers from heaven’s portals with barely contained excitement. The cost is offset by the Gift’s intended reception. This Gift sent as a tiny baby boy could change everything. His coming would bring with it consequences beyond our imagination’s limitations. Lives would change, hope would spring up in soil long since depleted of heavenly nutrients.
In his coming broken bodies would find healing and the tyranny of evil would meet more than its match. And when the baby breathed his first breath, death symbolically breathed its last.
The Baby lying in the manger out behind the full inn was the most lavish gift. He was the most astonishing solution to all that was wrong on this planet. He was the most comprehensive package ever assembled. It took Almighty God to come up with such an awesome intervention.
This week, you need to rejoice that your receiving of this Gift has brought such satisfaction and joy to a Father’s heart. As you anticipate the joyful reception of your gifts, don’t ever forget how desperately God longed for us to receive his!
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 New International Version
May this week’s journey take you by the manger and may you find great joy there!