Micah 5:2-5a, Luke 1:39-45
Today I will be speaking for just a brief moment, because the children are the ones to bring the bulk of the message today. As we continue through the theme of Christmas gifting, we have successfully navigated the all-important steps of the hunt, the purchase, and the wrapping of what we believe are the perfect gifts for our loved ones. We have searched live and online looking for great deals but also the items our family and friends would actually want. We have laid the money down and made the purchases. We have spent time, money, and effort on beautiful wrappings to heighten the anticipation. We now come to the point of presentation.
I have heard of some families sending their kids on treasure hunts, searching for their gifts. My parents did this with my sister because she was a snooper!! They were desperate one year and hid her main gift in the washing machine! Others of us pile things neatly for each recipient – others still enjoy the chaos on Christmas morning. Considering all you went through as the giver, the one thing you want to see is that special look on your recipients face when that person opens your gift – it is truly a magical moment.
And so you watch, anticipate, look at their faces… and the look doesn’t come!! You worked so hard, and what you get is, “Oh, well thanks.” What you want is the “Oh wow!! This is EXACTLY what I wanted!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!” Not to mention the, “You are the best MOM ever!!” Sometimes that comes, and sometimes it doesn’t. Think of gifts you have received that were not even close to something you wanted – these are often re-gifted for that holiday game I mentioned last week.
So today, as we view the message presented by our Sunday School classes, consider how you experience the gift of God’s only son Jesus. Do we thank God profusely with gratitude for being the best ever, or do we possibly set this most precious gift aside, maybe even re-package and give away until another time. Maybe we only see the gift of Jesus as something to pull out on occasion, or perhaps we see this gift as the awesome, spectacular, game-changer it really is. Maybe for the first time we feel real hope, real peace, real joy, real love – unconditional and all-encompassing. That is my hope and prayer for each of us – may we truly rejoice this Christmas season, knowing God’s precious gift abides with us now and always. Amen.