Tuesday, December 21, 2010

To you: Love, joy, hope, peace and life

 It’s a good thing gift wrap was made from sturdy paper when my brother and I were kids.

We were gift tag stalkers and package shakers.

Whenever we saw our name on a present under the Christmas tree, we had to shake it, pick at the corners and try to lift the edge of the seam to get a glimpse of what was inside. If we’d had an X-ray machine, I’m sure we would have used that.

But one year that stopped. Not because we’d grown up – when it comes to Christmas, who ever grows up? – and not because we were finally listening to our parents’ plea to, “Quit shaking the packages.”

It stopped because our mother didn’t use gift tags that year. We didn’t know which gifts were ours until Christmas morning.

The next year, my brother didn’t tag gifts, either, and then my dad and I quit using them. And yes, there were times when the giver forgot who the gift was intended, so Bill might get a skirt, and I might get a dress shirt. But that just added to the fun and made Christmas morning more memorable.

God doesn’t tag His gifts, yet we always get something to cherish or sustain us. Talent and treasure. Humor and health. Food and breath. Quiet and laughter.

Best of all, we get His greatest gift, His love.

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

That tiny baby, born in a manger, brings love, joy, hope, peace and life – here and in eternity -- to you. To me. To everyone.

What an amazing gift, and no tag needed.

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