The generous gift of Jesus. It would be so easy just to skip right over that in the blaze of holiday lights and the cacophony of merriment. Give for the sake of giving! Give because it’s Christmas!. Love because it’s Christmas! Don’t be sad or pensive. It’s Christmas! Falalalala! And we whirl away in a festive frenzy to our next holiday celebration.
The generous gift of Jesus. Do I ever stop to really unwrap it? And what does it mean – this gift I can’t even comprehend?
Advent – the season of waiting. The expectation of something Holy and Good. I’ve never really been very good at waiting. My mom would tell you stories of me standing beside her bed to wake her up in the morning because I want breakfast and I want it NOW. My demands haven’t changed much nor has insistence that the world bend to my immediate desires.
But isn’t Advent more than an impatient tapping of my fingers and a terse countdown to vacation? In all of the merrymaking, doesn’t the sheer magnitude of this season beg us to make space for hushed expectation? Isn’t it more than just the cursory wonder at a baby born in a barn because the all inns were full?
What about the enormousness of God incarnate made flesh? What about the waiting of every single person ever mentioned in the Old Testament? And the promises that they never saw fulfilled?
What about Mary waiting until she could feel the quickening of the Baby within her and realizing that what the angel had told her was actually coming true? And then waiting through the last, burdened, lumbering months of pregnancy until the Baby was finally born only to realize that he was still a child in need of care and love and food and shelter? This tiny, long-awaited, Savior of the world?
And Joseph waiting to take his wife? And the shepherds waiting to worship? The wise men waiting to pay obeisance? Herod waiting? The Pharisees waiting? The disciples waiting? The prophets waiting? And the nations waiting?
Come, thou long-expected Jesus.
Throughout the entirety of human history God paints a huge, overarching narrative of redemption and restoration through his Son. It didn’t start with the Baby in a manger. It started with God. God promised and God delivered.
A Savior born of a virgin, of the line of David, of the Holy Spirit. Impossible, yet very real. Deity, yet all humanity. Born to save those in active rebellion against him. Born to pay the price for those who scoffed and those just learning to hate.
Mystery and faith. Promise and expectation. A gift more costly than anything else in all of creation. A treasure beyond any created and thing. An undefiled and undeserved paragon of unconditional love. A gift so easily brushed aside and taken for granted. The start of the story that ends sin’s reign.
Advent. A refocusing. A deliberate silence. A Deliverer wrapped in flesh.
The generous gift of Jesus.
The most lavish gift of all.
Based on Luke 2
Check out The Generous Gift of Jesus message series at http://discovergrace.com/messages/0