If a very close loved one gives you a gift wrapped in a very small package, chances are it’s something very precious. Over 2000 years ago the Creator and Father gave the world His most precious treasure wrapped in a very small package: His Son in the form of a newborn baby. His value was announced by angels and a star and acknowledged by a band of local Jewish shepherds, the lowest of their society—and then by a group of wealthy foreign scholars who had traveled for months just to trace down the newborn “King of the Jews.”
Who was this baby that he commanded such attention by heavenly and earthy powers? What can we say when the Creator of the universe visits his own world semi-incognito in order to rescue them? When the Infinite disguises Himself as a helpless baby? Words fail. That’s the wonder of the Incarnation—the mind-blowing truth that I struggle to grab hold of every Christmas season.
Wrapped up in those strips of cloth was the fulfillment of all mankind’s hopes and dreams for love, joy, peace, purpose, justice, goodness, everlasting life, and more! It was effected by the forgiveness made possible through that baby (now a man—the God-Man) voluntarily taking the punishment we so rightly deserved. This is God’s extravagant gift to humankind, which we celebrate this day.
There are two things you can do with a gift: receive it or reject it. To receive a costly gift implies a relationship with the giver. The Creator and God of the universe extends to us the privilege of an intimate relationship with Him.
Or you can reject the gift. Why do people reject precious gifts? Maybe they don’t want to be tied down by a close relationship with the giver. Maybe they feel it would put them in an uncomfortable position of obligation. Maybe they think they don’t need the gift.
The gift of a relationship with God and His Son Jesus Christ is offered to you. Have you accepted it? Can you afford not to?