My sister in law from Washington DC sends the most beautifully decorated gifts. They are just gorgeous—unlike mine which look like the kids wrapped them. Maybe I should leave them from wrapped and just look at the loveliness.
But what happens if I do not unwrap the gift? I miss what the giver had in mind FOR ME. I may miss its purpose in my life. I may miss out on a game or adventure that draws family and friends together. The whole point is to OPEN the gift.
That got me thinking about the Christmas story. You see an angel brought an amazing Gift to the shepherds: “The angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.’” Luke 2: 10-11
What if the shepherds had decided not to unwrap this gift? The Gift of “great joy for all the people”? It wasn’t as simple as ripping off pretty paper. They could stay where they were (going on with business as usual) OR travel to Bethlehem to receive the gift. I wonder if they bought the whole flock along or left some behind. The Bible doesn’t give all the details, but we know they decided to go NOW to Bethlehem to see what the Lord had make known to them. They went with haste. No long delay to think about it. They just went to receive the Gift.
By unwrapping the Gift of the Savior given to them, the shepherds’ lives were changed. They returned praising and glorifying God. They told everyone what they had seen and heard!
The Gift of the Savior is for ALL people, just like the angel said. It is a Gift for you and me. This life-giving Gift changes the way we see the world. Jesus brings hope, love, justice and grace to all creation. God’s Gift is TO us and God’s Gift works THROUGH us to continue to bring life and love to the world.
May the greatest Gift of all–Jesus Christ–fill your heart with hope this Christmas.
For a unique perspective on unwrapping the Gift and meeting with God, watch this video: