Tuesday, December 15, 2009

GIFTS & GIVERS: Wrappings Matter

MY GRACIOUS AND LOVING WIFE taught me many years ago that how a gift is wrapped matters. Gifts that are wrapped with care and creativity go to express the "worth" of both the gift and the recipient of the gift. A gift not wrapped or just thrown into a bag without any forethought just is not as special as a gift that was thoughtfully wrapped. Now, I know that there are some of you reading this that would disagree with the above, but I will stick with what my wife has taught me...I feel it's better that way.

In my Advent Sermon series ("What are You Getting for Christmas") we have been looking at some of the gifts which God has given to us, such as His Light, His peace, and His joy. This week on Christmas Sunday as we light the fourth Advent Candle, we are focusing up God's gift of love.

As I pondered God's great gift of love in His Son, Jesus the Messiah, I was drawn to my wife's words about the importance of the "wrapping" in displaying the worth of both gift and the one receiving the gift. In God's gift of His Son to be our Savior, He not only wrapped Him in human flesh (John 1:14) but Jesus was the very love of God (John 3:16; Romans 5:8.)

I suppose God could of scared us into accepting His Son as our Savior. He could have sent Jesus to unleash the justice of God upon those who have disobeyed His commands and turn to worship the god of self. But God chose to not to scare us into salvation, but to love us. Jesus came as the love of God to us. God wrapped His gift of forgiveness, reconciliation, grace, mercy and salvation in the Person of Jesus Christ in order that we should see, hear and experience the love of God in the greatest wrapping possible.

So, this Christmas, as we ponder the manifold gifts of God, let us not forget that God has wrapped all of His gifts with love and in love. Remembering, that these great gifts, which come from the hands of our loving heavenly Father, come to us not to be horded but to be shared.

How can you share God's gift this Christmas season? How can you wrap it in the Love of God? Blessed to be a blessing; gifted in order to give. This is who and what we are as those who have received such an indescribable gift (2 Corinthians 9:6-15.)
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Whenever I think of pretty wrapping, I am reminded of the time I discovered how to make bows with wired ribbon and wrapped a present for a party where we were exchanging very inexpensive white elephant gifts. I had never wrapped a present that beautifully before in my life and a couple people actually ooohed and awed when I put it on the table with all the rest of the “joke” gifts.

It looked so “classy” that one might have expected to find expensive crystal or silver inside, but instead that beautifully wrapped package contained a very rustic wooden squirrel feeder with a cob of dried corn impaled upon a nail. What a shock for the person who opened that gift!

I was feeling kind of mischiveous when I wrapped that present and indeed, it was good for a laugh epecially because of the deceptive way it was packaged.

Be it a child’s homemade wrapping paper lovingly scribbled with crayons or a husband’s present wrapped up in pretty wrapping paper, or a joke gift the wrapping does somehow help relay the sentiment with which that gift is given … whether it touches the recipient’s heart or their funny bone.

God presented his gift wrapped in swaddling cloth carefully placed inside a manger filled with hay in a lowly stable no less!

Most of us would have packaged a gift that priceless differently yet the way God wrapped his gift to us communicates love loud and clear because not only did he humble himself by wrapping himself in human flesh, he also left the magnificence and glory of heaven to be born into the humblest of circumstances.

Which tells me that all Christians, even in the midst of a severe economic recession, have something to give this Christmas as long as we have the love of God in our hearts. We can always follow our master's example and give of ourselves.