Lifelines

‘For God so loved the world’

Bettie Marlowe
Posted 12/1/17

Remember the gift and the giver

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Lifelines

‘For God so loved the world’

Posted

In just a few weeks, the holiday which we are so looking forward to will be in the past. And the countdown to Christmas next year will begin. Gift lists and fruitcake recipes will give way to New Year’s resolutions and the influx of February’s bills. But is that all there is? When the tinsel, ribbons and wrappings are gone, what’s left?

Perhaps something like this has happened to you. A small boy was eagerly looking forward to Christmas. The family always met at his home for the holiday and on Christmas Eve, they exchanged gifts. As with most young children, he could hardly wait to open the gifts which had been placed under the tree for him.

One especially bright package had already caught his eye. It was all shiny red, with glistening ribbon tied into a huge bow and decorated with a little silver bell. He knew it had to be special. So when gifts were given out, it was the first one he tore open.

His heart sank as he found a little package of candy almost lost in the mounds of paper. But the thing that really hurt was, the person who had given him the gift gave the same thing to all the other children. It wasn’t special after all — he wasn’t special. There was no love and no thoughtfulness.

But there was another package the little boy had overlooked. It wasn’t wrapped in shiny paper and there wasn’t even a bow. However, when he tore off the wrappings, he screamed with delight — there lay the book bag he had seen in the department store window.

He had stood there before school started, gazing in the window, wishing he had that bright blue bag to carry his books to school in. An uncle had noticed. His was a gift of love. He didn’t know how to prettily wrap a package, but he knew something much more important — he knew a little boy’s heart.

The shiny paper lay crushed on the floor, the bow lost among other holiday throwaways. The candy was already gone, but for months to come, the lad could march proudly to school with that blue book satchel.

When the Christmas season is over, what will you have left? When all the tinsel is gone, the shiny ornaments packed away, the wrapping paper has been relegated to the trash — will you still have the gift?

Christ came to us as a baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes. No town criers announced His arrival. There were no trumpets blown. No satin pillow awaited His coming — His bed was shaped in hay.

We must remember the gift is more important than the wrapping. The angel choir heralded His birth and from the wise men and shepherds came the same thing — worship and adoration

Let us not get so caught up in the trappings of Christmas that we lose sight of the gift. For when everything else is gone, we have Him — God’s gift to this world.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life."

Let us pray for the restoration of love and the reconcilation of God’s people. This is our gift to each other, thereby to Christ, the One we celebrate.

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