Monday, December 09, 2013

THREE NAILS AND A BLOCK OF WOOD

A NUMBER OF YEARS AGO one of my children gave me a special gift. It was a foot-long piece of 2x4 with a few nails pounded in it. It was supposed to be a tie rack, or was it a belt rack, maybe it was multi-purpose rack, I never did quite know, but the truth is it was handmade especially for me without another one quite like it in the world (that I know of.)

I liked that gift for a couple of reasons. First, it made me smile to think that I had made similar gifts for my dad and mom when I was young. Second, I was struck by how a simple gift, made in a simple manner, given for a simple purpose could bring pride to the giver and joy to the recipient.

When you think about all the money and angst that often accompanies our Christmas gift-giving is it any wonder we find ourselves driven to wit’s end by the time Christmas day arrives? Something tells me this is not what the Lord Jesus, whose birth we are celebrating, would require of those who seek to follow and honor Him. Truth-be-told, the Scriptures never tell us to celebrate His birth; His death and resurrection, yes, through Communion, Baptism and proclaiming the Word of God, but not His birth.

His death and resurrection were quite public events with many witnesses, but His birth was incredibly humble (in a barn) and unnoticed (except for a few fear-struck shepherds.)  I wonder if we would better celebrate His birth as it happened; humbly and unnoticed by the masses.  Would it not be more true to His birth celebration if the gifts we give and the manner in which we give them be of a simpler nature?

Wouldn’t three nails in a block of wood be a clearer reflection of the original Gift?  How then should we give?   
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