As we unwrap the gift, we find God willing to overshadow us to work in us, Christ’s humility despite his royal identity, but the to fully grasp God’s gift, we find that:
Christmas was never about just leading us, but always about loving us!
Have you ever questioned someone’s love for you? A lady in Spain made the news when she chose a unique way of testing her husband’s love. With the help of a friend, she manipulated her own kidnapping and sent a ransom notice to her husband. When the police discovered the kidnapping was a hoax, they asked the lady why she did it. “I wanted to find out what my husband would do for me,” she replied. Source: AFP News
Look at how God reveals his love: 8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”Bethlehem although small, had a booming industry, their pastures were used for raising the sheep which would be taken into Jerusalem and sacrificed in the temple, these shepherds were the ones who knew what the unblemished lambs that took away sin looked like, they judged which were worthy to be sent off, and they cared for the sheep. As the gift is unwrapped, as they go to find the baby Jesus, that even at his birth, we see a glimpse at his death. That as the baby would be wrapped in clothes, he would in a short 33 years be stripped of his clothes, although given gold he would be given a crown of thorns, although he drew huge crowds, he would alone go to the cross to cleanse us of our sins. As he was born weak and dependent, he would allow himself with the full power of divinity to be emptied out, pierced on a cross so weak that he was unable to lift himself up for his next breathe.
Here is the beauty in God’s gift, we don’t have to manipulate him to prove his love for us. In his poverty, God takes us from paupers to predestined. That in his weakness—Christ takes us from impure to redeemed. That in his closeness—Christ shows us his grace instead of slamming down his gavel. In his graciousness he endured the cross so we could be crowned as heirs.
Remember, like Ralphie (check out two posts ago), sometimes we anticipate a gift and envision what life will be like. We limit God to our own expectations, and yet today God offers us the chance to open up the gift that is anticipated but not fully grasped. The gift of connection over comfort, the gift of humility over royalty, the gift of love over lording over us! Are you ready to open up the gift and be overshadowed?