No Exchanges, No Returns

An unplanned baby is not always a  welcomed gift.  It is not a gift you can return, or use once and then pass on to Goodwill. For sure you cannot “re-gift” a baby. And even if you felt the overwhelming glee of something “new,” changing diapers and wearing spit up would douse those warm fuzzies pretty quick.

Which makes me wonder what Mary thought.  Do you ever ponder the reality of Jesus as a baby?  I know we get all wrapped up in the story of them, but let’s make it more real than that.  When they were getting up in the middle of the night, or trying to figure out how to be married and parent the Son of God, did they ever just flat have a meltdown?

It is much easier, though still taxing, to love a child you long for. But a child that is thrust upon you, perhaps is a different story.

We went to the Living Christmas Tree last night.

Two years ago, Charis accepted Christ at this event, so it holds a sentimental place for us. But last night  as we sat on the side we could see much of the before and after happenings of each scene.  Mary and Joseph were about to enter stage left and a woman walked briskly up to them, laid Baby Jesus in Mary’s arms and walked away.  This very young woman’s eyes widened and she cuddled and jostled him, trying to position him so that he wouldn’t cry. Then they entered the spotlight and the camera zoomed in on Baby Jesus.

Well, first let me just say that I was glad Baby Jesus was a real baby. (See post Plastic Baby Jesus.) But second, the absolute magnitude of God in the form of an infant hit me radically differently this year. He was vulnerable, at risk, 100% needy, and not necessarily a “wanted child.”

I was overwhelmed at how God timed everything so perfectly, but also all that God entrusted to this young couple, even to us.  He was so confident in His ability in them to complete this world changing plan. It wasn’t about THEIR perfection, but God’s sustaining power.

Hmmmm. Let me see, what was that petty thing I was worrying about again?  If God can handle His Son being in the hands of humans like me, maybe He can handle my freak out too.

In a round about way, seeing Jesus up close on the screen made me think about giving gifts. Sometimes you just buy what you can afford. Sometimes you buy what you hope they will like. But sometimes you buy what you know is an absolute home-run gift.  That person has either expressed need or interest or you just know that they will be delighted at your thoughtfulness, effort or expense.

God really set the perfect model for gift giving. He knew not only we needed—salvation, forgiveness, but also we desperately wanted— unfailing relationship, eternal peace, unshakable hope.  And sparing no expense, He packed all this into one tiny little package.

So my question today is, how are you receiving His Gift this Christmas?

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