Last week it was Jesus the Baby.
This morning at church it was Jesus the King.
Tonight it’s Jesus the Gift.
If you’re getting a gift from me this Christmas, I’ll go ahead and tell you where it is. If you’re one of my kids, it’s under the bed. If you’re anybody else, it’s in one of those bags along the wall of my bedroom, in the same place I dropped it when I came home from my marathon shopping day on Black Friday. I had great visions of wrapping everything that night or that weekend and putting them under my tree to admire for the month of December. Well….exhaustion and a stack of ungraded papers and Facebook and previously aired episodes of the Voice overtook me. So there they still sit, and I’m sure they’ll be there until school is out for Christmas break. And one night, with the help of a glass (or two) of wine and more episodes of the Voice, I’ll get it done.
One day this week while driving to school I heard the song, ”What a Glorious Night,” by Sidewalk Prophets. It left me thinking about that night. The night.
“I hear the angels singing, hallelujah. Let the earth receive her king.”
I couldn’t help but think that the earth didn’t know what a gift they were getting on that night. God knew, the angels knew, and Mary had some small understanding. But God chose such a quiet way for our Savior to enter the world. It was a glorious night, but no one around them knew just how glorious yet.
All of this left me thinking about God, the Gift Giver. As much as I hate the wrapping, I am eagerly awaiting my night to be gift giver. I’ve picked out things that I know my kids will like. I can’t wait to see Chica’s reaction to both the things she asked for as well as the things she didn’t know she wanted. Bubba…well, he doesn’t know to want and ask yet, but I anticipate he’ll be just as excited, if not more.
So I imagine that God had some of those same anticipations as the Gift Giver that night. He knew that the Gift he had picked out was exactly what we needed. It was exactly what we wanted (a savior, a king), but the form it took was unlike anyone had expected. So as the earth slept, he delivered the Best Gift and waited for us to discover it. Some days, most days, I feel like I’m still discovering it, still unwrapping it.
“I know that love has come. Singing it out: Jesus Christ is born!”
Just like the shepherds, I’m amazed. Just like the shepherds, don’t let me hide it.
So one more thought about the gift and the giver. Can I just confess that a small part of my joy as a gift giver is the price at which I find my gifts? I start my Black Friday shopping with a fairly tight budget, and I mostly stick to it. I found Chica’s one “big present” this year at Ollie’s for $10. Woo-hooo! And Jay snagged Bubba’s during Cyber Monday on some fluke, two hour deal. As much as I know this really isn’t the point, it sure has made the giving sweeter for me.
But what about The Gift Giver? I keep rolling over and over the idea tonight that his gift was at full price. The biggest price. I wonder if his joy that night was also mixed with tiny pangs of sadness as he knew just how much it would cost him in the end.
Let the earth receive her King. I eagerly await that glorious night.
Oh, what a glorious night.