The Perfectly Wrapped Present
For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you; you will find a baby wrapped in cloths, and lying in a manger.
Luke 2:11-12 (NAS)
I find wrapping presents is just about as hard as buying presents. I have seen people push, shove, and fight over the most sought out toy of the season. But I know from personal experience that if you are looking for a toy your child specifically asked for, you will do whatever it takes to find it! I have asked family members in different cities to be on the lookout for a toy and have even found myself praying to find it before Christmas morning. I will never forget the time I was looking for “Talking Elmo,” and there was not a talking Elmo in Atlanta! When I finally found Elmo, I couldn’t wait to see the excitement on my child’s face Christmas morning! I had my camera out ready to capture the moment of joy, and before I could get my camera back in its’ case, the child had moved on to something else. For whatever reason, I thought four year olds could understand the time, stress, and energy it took to find their greatest desire! I had to hold back the words, “Do you know how long it took me to find Talking Elmo? I expect you to have a conversation with him for days!” Instead, I smiled and said, “What else did you get?”
And what about the gifts that look better wrapped than un-wrapped? I’ve given and received gifts I knew were deceiving because the wrapping far out weighed the content. You either fight looking disappointed or excuse your gift by saying, “I know it’s not much... I tried to make it look better than it really is!” I have no idea what it is like around your house on Christmas Day after the gifts are unwrapped, but my house looks like I removed the carpet and laid wrapping paper in its place.
In Luke 2, we are told Mary wrapped Jesus in cloths and laid Him in a manger. I wonder if Mary and Joseph looked at Jesus and thought, “Now this is what we call a perfectly wrapped gift!” Luke also tells us that Gabriel once again appeared and said, “Do not be afraid,” but this time he spoke to the shepherds. (On a personal note, I think Gabriel really has “Do not be afraid” down pat). The angel told the shepherds they would know they had found Jesus when they found Him wrapped in cloths, lying in a manger. Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of God... wrapped? How do you wrap the glory of God? And did the shepherds know He was The Great Shepherd? The shepherds didn’t compliment Mary and Joseph for having a cute baby; they immediately began to praise God for Jesus. Do you think they looked at each other and said, “Did we really just bow and worship an infant?”
The wrapped Jesus was God’s gift to us. Unlike anything we can give, Jesus is the greatest gift of all. However, unless we unwrap Jesus, we will never enjoy all that He has to offer. When you find Jesus and unwrap Him, you can’t help but worship! Jesus is our peace, He is our savior, He is the glory of God, He is our hope, He is our coming King, He is our life! What did you ask for this Christmas? What do you hope to find under the tree? Can you receive any greater gift than the gift of peace, forgiveness of sin, hope, and the assurance of knowing your God is with you and will never leave you? Is there any gift you or someone else can give that is better than what God has already given you?
The greatest gift we have been given NEVER stops giving and it will take a lifetime to unwrap Him! Once we begin unwrapping Him we will find Jesus is a wonderful Counselor, our Mighty God, an everlasting Father, and the source of peace we have always wanted; our Prince of Peace. No wonder the angels and the heavenly host burst into a song. The promise has been fulfilled God has given us all that our hearts could ever want!
Further ReadingLuke 2, Colossians 1:15, Psalm 23