Friday, December 25, 2015

The ultimate gift

“And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.”  Luke 2:6-7

It's a scene I've seen depicted in countless Christmas programs and nativities over the course of my life--A manger lined with cumfy straw and a soft blanket in a barn filled with cute animals.  A qaint yet comfortable place to have a baby, no big deal that there wasn't room at the inn.

Since reading this verse of the day on the Youversion app ( the other day, God has put a different image in my head.  In today's terms this would be like the savior of the world being born under an overpass across from a Motel 6 with no vacancy, being laid in a shopping cart lined with newspaper and an old tattered snuggie, a gag gift long discarded and not recently laundered.  I don't think God sent his Son to be born in a manger so we could include a baby goat or calf in reenactment of his birth each year to the delight of our children.  It was a move to show us how deep his love is for us, that there was nowhere he wouldn't go to reach us even if it meant sending his only Son who was there with him from the beginning to be born in filth, mocked and ultimately killed for our sake.

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9

Poor is not something most of us in America today fully grasp, if you're reading this on a smartphone, tablet, or PC, you've likely never been at a point where you were without enough food and clean water to stay alive.  Regardless, this was not to prove a point but to redeem a relationship of the most perfect and fulfilling kind, as Jesus said in John 10:10: "I have come that they may have life and have it to the full." 

And life to the full is something we certainly have, if not in our current lives certainly within our reach, as Matthew 7:11 says: "If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!"

Just something to keep in mind and take great hope and comfort in on this day of feasting and gift giving!

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