By Randy Edwards
1 Peter 1:8
As children, we gain lot of joy from receiving Christmas gifts. Gifts all wrapped up and placed carefully under the tree. Gifts about which we can wonder and guess and get all excited! Gifts which, on Christmas morning, we can tear into to finally discover all the fun stuff hidden in those beautiful, whimsical packages that have been teasing us for days or even weeks!
As we grow older, the fun of opening gifts may well remain, but the meanings behind those gifts begin to take on much more significance with age and maturity. We begin to understand that gifts are actually symbols of much larger, deeper expressions.
For instance, God’s gift to us on the first Christmas morning was not just a sweet baby boy names Jesus. The package wrapped crudely in the manger stood for SO much more than what was visible to the human eye. The gift was disarmingly humble, so simple, earthy, naked, exposed, and shivering both from the trauma of birth and perhaps from the nighttime outdoor temperatures. A newborn in a cattle feeder. How much simpler can it be than that?
And yet, that bundle of joy was also the very Son of God. Emmanuel. God with us. The divine symbol of that scenario has mystified God-seeking people throughout the ages, and it continues to stagger the imagination of young and old in 2013.
Re-read the little verse above from 1 Peter. Think about or discuss how it is that we can love God, believe God, and greatly rejoice in a Gift we have not seen with our eyes, touched with our fingers, or held in our arms.
May your hope be abundant. May your peace be profound. May your joy be inexpressible. May your love be complete.