"What He ordains for us each moment is what is most holy, best, and most divine for us." Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Gifts are Wrapped

It's the day before Christmas, and I'm ahead of schedule. Yes, this morning, all the gifts are wrapped and have been mailed or are just waiting here under the tree for their designated giftees to arrive. And the anticipation is about to kill me. Not because of what might be under the tree for me -- for at this point, there is none. (Okay, so I've looked.) But for what is under the tree for everyone else! I love the process of searching, buying, and wrapping. I love thinking about each individual whose name will go on that package. I love lavishing those I love at Christmas! No, you won't ever catch me buying "generically." Each gift is person selected. But as much as I love all of that, as much as I love finding the "perfect" gift, the best part comes when the recipient actually receives and opens that present.

We have a tradition at out house; even with the children grown, married, and coming home with spouses: only one gift can be opened at a time. All the presents are dispensed from beneath the tree, and then one by one, a gift is selected and all eyes are on the one opening his or her gift. And when they're through, the next person can open one. And around and around we go until all the gifts are laid bare and all the oohing and ah-ing is done. I'm not sure how the rest of my family feels about this little tradition, but it's special to me, because the individual unwrapping is the consummation of the whole process of the gifting.

This morning I've been thinking about all of this and I can't help wonder if God anticipated the Gift He would give. Did He have you in mind through the millennia? Did He have me in mind throughout the ages? Does He still anticipate the opening of the Gift each time it is presented to an individual?

Oh, how sad it would be for a gift to be left unopened on a shelf or in a closet or even under a tree after all the lights have been removed. But how much more unfortunate for God's precious Package to remain unwrapped.

John 3:16 reads, For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son ... Talk about a hand-picked gift from a lavish God. It's a Gift that defies description, that transcends superlatives, and exceeds our imaginative powers. It is the highest, costliest, most precious gift ever given. Let us join with the apostle Paul: "Thanks be to God for His indescribable Gift!"

Just an ordinary moment...

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