Can you believe it’s time to ask how everyone’s Christmas, 2014 was? That we’re a day from ringing in the New Year?
I hope your Christmas was blessed and family-full!
For our family of four, Christmas morning was a flurry of ripped wrapping paper, squeals of Lego delight, and moans of book-lover abandon.
But there was one hiccup in our gift-opening Christmas morning.
The boys’ school has a small Christmas store each year. The students can shop in “secret” and choose a gift for family members for an inexpensive price. The gifts are wrapped and delivered to the students a few days before Christmas break begins. We allow the boys to choose one gift for each family member (three total, with Chase opting for a fourth gift for our dog).
Usually the gifts are things like small candles (for me), a flashlight (for Trev), and some sort of ball or sports items for each other.
Christmas morning, Chase opened his school gift from Cole first, which was a dart gun promptly shot into the Christmas tree. When Cole opened Chase’s gift to him, an odd expression crossed our ten-year old’s face.
He looked up at Chase, then at us, in embarrassment.
“Why did you get me this?” Cole’s voice was weak and surprised.
Chase, confused at his reaction, grabbed the gift and ripped it open the rest of the way. Chase let out a loud cry when he pulled a Princess night-light out of the demolished wrapping paper.
“What? This isn’t what I got him!” Chase’s face turned a mottled pink that nearly matched the unwanted night-light.
We did our best to defuse the situation, explaining to them that an honest mistake was made amidst dozens of wrapped gifts at the school store. Chase’s gift for Cole was accidentally switched with a girl’s gift.
“A girl from school is probably disappointed right now too because she just opened a boy gift instead. It’s a mistake, guys, and it’s okay. You have other gifts to be thankful for.”
Chase still wore a defeated expression, and I reiterated to pre-teen, easily embarrassed Cole that his brother hadn’t actually chosen that pink gift for him. They didn’t appreciate my faux excitement about finally getting the princess nightlight I’d always dreamed of, either.
The situation eventually smoothed out, the unwanted princess night-light forgotten. But later that evening, when I had a few moments alone to think about the gift Jesus is and why we celebrate His birth, I realized something.
Like the pink nightlight, some reject Jesus because they believe He’s the wrong gift. They believe they don’t need Him or that they’re fine on their own.
God’s Word tells a different story and promises the right Gift.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”
We all — each of us — need Jesus. He is the perfect gift for every single human being, the necessary heavenly Gift who bridges the gap to our Creator God.
“But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”
(Galatians 4: 4 & 5)
As you enter the New Year, remember that Jesus is the right gift. That He gives believers hope, forgiveness, and grace for each new day.
“This is Christmas: not the tinsel, not the giving and receiving, not even the carols, but the humble heart that receives anew the wondrous gift, the Christ.” ~ Frank McKibben