Wrapped within the tinsel, lights, and candies of Christmas, there’s a thread of anticipation as, daily, children eye the presents tucked beneath the tree, daydreaming about what might be hid inside. They shake the boxes, test their weight, analyze their shape, hoping that special toy or gadget lies inside.
Ever since paradise was shattered, mankind has anxiously awaited a gift–one that would make all things right and undue the mess we’d become. The one, the Person, who would empty Himself for the world He loved, presenting us all with the most precious gift imaginable–life.
My guest today shares a cute Christmas memory that reminded her of the Creator’s gift of God incarnate.
God Revealed Through the Gift by Linda Rondeau
I’ve often wondered why people feel a need to disguise a gift. I expect they want to enhance the element of surprise by making the receiver wonder and guess. Most likely this was how my brother felt on his twelfth Christmas as he placed the humongous box labeled “For Dad” under the tree.
I shook my head as I remembered the laborious efforts my brother undertook to make certain Dad could not identify his gift before opening the package. He found five boxes that fit one into the other, placed the gift in the smallest one, wrapped it, and then placed the box into another box until the belt was inside my brother’s version of a Scandinavian puzzle. After two hours and six rolls of wrapping paper, he was satisfied Dad would be delighted … like digging for buried treasure.
When Christmas morning arrived, my brother asked Dad to open his present first instead of last, as was the custom. My father nodded, and my brother, pretending the box was heavy, dragged Dad’s gift over to him. My father shook the box, then stroked his chin. “Now, I wonder what this could be?”
As Dad made the first tear in the paper, my brother could contain his excitement no longer. “You’d never know it was a belt, would you, Dad?”
The memory of the Great Belt Guffaw always brings a smile. It’s one of my favorite Christmas memories. But, I’m also struck with a reminder of another gift, God’s son, his greatest treasure. Only, God didn’t conceal the promised birth with vague innuendos, mysterious wrappings, or pretense. No obscure disguises. He prepared the world, so the Messiah’s arrival could be recognized.
Even evil Herod discovered the Promised One would be born Bethlehem, an event that was shared by shepherds and kings alike. Angels sang, and a star lit the sky for all to see. Rather than hide his perfect gift in layers of distractions, God wrapped his love in revelation.
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made so that men are without excuse (Romans 1:20 NIV).
Let’s talk about this! As I read Linda’s post and her brother’s excitement to share his special gift with his dad, I thought first of mankind’s anticipation for the Savior, and had to ask myself, to I approach God incarnate with the same joy? I also thought of God the Father, the ultimate gift giver and wondered, does he gaze down on us with that same anticipation, waiting patiently, lovingly for us to unwrap the precious gift He gave through His Son? What about you? What resonated most with you as you read Linda’s post? What are you doing to build hope-filled anticipation for time with Jesus this Christmas? Share your thoughts in the comments below, because we can all learn from and encourage one another.
For those navigating relational challenges this Christmas, I encourage you to visit Wholly Loved to read about how to find peace in the middle of relational dysfunction.
You might also enjoy What Kind of Love–A Mother’s Look at God Incarnate.
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Get to know Linda!
Award winning author, Linda Wood Randeau writes to demonstrate our worst past, surrendered to God becomes our best future. A veteran social worker, Linda now resides in Hagerstown, Maryland. Readers may visit her web site at www.lindarondeau.com. Contact the author on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus and Goodreads.
“Christmas is a time for miracles,” Ryan McDougal tells his mother, when he is told that a long lost cousin, Millie, has resurfaced after nearly forty years, the cousin whose picture his mother clasped the day his father abandoned him. Though they occurred decades apart, he always believed the two disappearances were connected like opposite links of a chain.
With Millie’s arrival, perhaps he might finally receive the answers he so desperately sought. However, Ryan has a third thorn in his side, more devastating than any mystery. His wife, the love of his life, has left his arms and his bed. How long before she moves out of the house and takes his beloved son with her? He prays for his own Christmas miracle. Millie’s anticipated visit prompts Ryan’s mother to reveal secrets that bring all to light. However, when past and present collide, the truth is more than Ryan can bear.
Buy it HERE!
And for those still Christmas shopping, When Dawn Breaks, my novel reviewers have called hilarious and heartwarming, is currently on sale for under $5 (print version). You can check it out HERE!
Merry Christmas all! I hope you take time–make time!–to truly enjoy the best gift presented this season–God with us!