The greatest gift from God to all peoples cannot be contained in packaging. Neither can it be tied with a bow. It cannot be measured by inches or valued by currency. The Unwrapped Present of Christmas bears the name of Immanuel which translates “God with us”. Surely, there is no other present so sacrificially given as God Himself becoming flesh among us. Surely, God in His unlimited understanding gifted us according to our deepest need. Surely, God’s Presence is framed by His unfathomable love.
Personally, I am not at ease opening gifts in front of others. Several years ago I was taught a valuable lesson through the young woman my son chose for his wife. A friend of mine honored her with a Wedding Shower. The very first gift she opened was a lovely robe. After rubbing her hand over it with a grateful smile she took the robe out of the box, stood up in front of a crowd of people she did not know and slipped her arms into her gift. The response to her gracious action was audible. As I reflect on this precious moment, I realize that my daughter to be sensed the value of the present given in love. She received it with full honor to the giver.
With great reverence and gratitude for God’s immeasurable love, let us Unwrap Immanuel and give Him full honor in our lives. Let us purpose not to squander Christmas this year. Stand up wth great courage and slip into the gift of His Presence in our lives. Deep in your heart you will know His delight—His Peace. Bring God Into the Moment this Christmas for the sake of faith in your own next generation.
I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness… Isaiah 61:10
God’s Presence is the true present of Christmas. Unwrap Jesus this Christmas.
To view my Christmas List for our children check out my website for my blog post from one year ago.
Your sense of adventure defines your approach to life. Do you live on the edge of the next new thing to try and to master? Or are you one who holds back in the safe and unchallenged places of life? Are you a risk taker or a safe player? Your sense of ADVENTure defines your approach to Christmas. Do you bask in the wonder of God’s gift to the world in the person of His Son? Do you sell short the true meaning of Christmas and miss the essence of God’s love in it? Are you a joyful participant or an overwhelmed overseer of gifts, decorations and groceries? Believe me, I know of what I speak!
Advent is the season of spiritual preparation that leads to an event too great to fathom in the human mind and too wondrous to capture in the human heart. Advent anticipates the adventure of a life time. It clears the pathway for a journey that exceeds climbing the highest mountain or diving in the deepest sea. Advent takes us beyond the world’s woes to a place of love and peace that the world knows not. May God in His goodness increase our sense of ADVENTure.
There is sadness in a world that chooses an atheist as the Grand Marshall of a Christmas parade. There is shallowness in the availability of an Advent Calendar with a toy on the twenty-fifth day. There is hopelessness in a “Happy Holidays” greeting and the banning of manger scenes in public places. But take heart! God is with us in it all. Therein lies the true beauty of Advent. All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel—which means God with us (Matthew 1:22-23; Isaiah 7:14).
It takes a whole lot of ADVENTure to fully grasp the Biblical truth that a child conceived by God’s Holy Spirit and born to a virgin would be called Immanuel and live with us. Advent is about seeking God in all of His fullness so that we can fully receive the gift of His Son, the Christ-child. .
You will seek me and you will find me when you seek me with all your heart. ‘I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord… Jeremiah 29:13
May God stir in you a sense of ADVENTure so that you might find Jesus in a new way. Be prepared to be God-awed this Christmas.
OPP (opportunity for action): Connect the Christmas dots in your family. Supplement your Advent candles and calendars with the reading of the Christmas story as told by Matthew and Luke (Matthew 1 !-14, Luke 1:1-20). Teach your children the concept of giving to Jesus by gifting to others. Bring Jesus into the moment in your homes this Christmas. If you do not ADVENT your child’s Christmas, who will?
Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord. They will proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn. Psalm 22:30-31.