There are four shopping days left until Christmas. The hustle and bustle of this season is quickly winding down. We still have parties to attend, celebrations to host and presents to buy. I'll be taking the girls out to finish their Christmas shopping today. Shopping with my oldest is a breeze. She usually knows exactly what she wants and chooses something quickly. Shopping with my youngest is a different story. Let's just say you'd best have lots of time on your hands. She wants to consider all the options, then make a decision. My oldest does all her thinking before we leave home. My youngest does all of her thinking in the store aisle.
No matter how we do our thinking, the best gifts are the ones that we've thought about -- the ones that we've painstakingly chosen. God spent thousands of years thinking about His gift for us. He came up with a plan for redemption way back when Adam and Eve first sinned. He spent thousands of years getting us ready for that gift. Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." God sent Jesus as a gift to us, then he wrapped Him in an unexpected package.
My mom likes to put little gifts in big packages. She disguises the shape of what you're getting by putting it in an unusual package. God did that. He sent the Savior of the world to earth -- not as a king -- but as a baby.
As we shop for gifts this year, remember that God put a lot of thought into His Christmas gift to us. Even though it didn't come in the "package" many people were expecting, it is the best present we could ever receive.
Help your kids understand the unusual "wrapping" God put on Jesus and the time and planning that went into His gift.
- Take your kids shopping for a gift for someone else. While your child is deciding what to get, talk about how a good gift requires thinking about what the other person needs. Talk about how God gave us the gift of Jesus because He knew what we needed.
- Wrap up something obvious like a book. Don't add any extra packaging. Ask your kids what they think is in the package. Wrap another book in an odd package. Ask your kids if they can guess what's in that package. Unwrap both presents. Talk about how God could have sent Jesus as a mighty warrior to overthrow the Romans, but instead He sent a baby because God knew we needed a Savior, not a warrior.
As you and your family and friends exchange gifts this year, remember that God sent Jesus in an unexpected "package" so we could have what we needed to bridge the gap between us and God. And that's the best gift anyone could get.