TITLE: An Unopened Present
DATE: December 6, 2018
TEXT: Romans 5: 8 - (ESV) - but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Generally speaking, patience and Christmas presents are not usually compatible.
One of the great joys of being a grandparent is watching the little ones trying to figure out what is in the packages which have their names on them. From a distance they can see if the gift is big or small. They know “If it is at the bottom of the pile it is usually heavy and not super fragile.”
But that is just about all they can tell from a distance. Which is why each day brings them noticeably closer to the pile. Pretty soon the presents are being picked up, turned over, examined, x-rayed and shaken. You see, generally speaking, patience and presents are not compatible.
Unless you happen to be Canada’s Adrian Pearce.
Way back in 1970, when Adrian was 17-years-old, his girl friend gave him a Christmas present…. And then she dumped him. Well, young love being what it is, Adrian couldn’t bring himself to open the gift and he couldn’t bear the thought of throwing it away.
What he did do was bring out that present, and, for a while, every year he put it under the family Christmas tree. Well, a half-century is a half-century and Adrian has decided the time has come for the present to be opened. Understand he’s not going to do the opening. A long time ago he swore he never would open the gift.
So, On December 6th his wife is going to open the gift. Or… his old girl-friend can have the honors
Yes, after she read about the gift, the old girl-friend contacted Adrian. She explained two things:
Adrian has invited her to his house where she can, if she wishes, do the unwrapping.
Now I hope that doesn’t all sound silly.
It shouldn’t. You see, more than 2,000 years ago the Lord sent His Son into this world to be the best Gift sinful humanity would ever receive. True, being born in a stable, and being wrapped in swaddling clothes, the Baby Jesus might not have appeared to be a precious Present, but He most certainly was and is.
And He is also a Present that many millions of people have never opened.
Oh, they know it’s His birthday… and they think they know all about Him… but they don’t.
Many of them think Jesus has come to bring earthly peace to a war-torn, hatred-filled world. Many think He is here to set an example of love, of family, of happiness or to show the true spirit of the holidays is giving.
What so many people never really see is Jesus has been born to save them from themselves. Covered, and I mean totally covered by sin, the souls of these people are destined for the eternal punishment of hell. Jesus has come to stop them from walking that path.
To that end, before His life was over, He lived a perfect life; He kept the commandments He resisted every temptation and He carried our sins to the cross where He died our death. His resurrection is the guarantee which says His work has been successful and now all who believe on Him are forgiven and saved. Which makes Him into being good news of great joy.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks for the Gift of Your Son. Grant that this holy-season others may open their Gift and see Your great grace which saves. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Today’s devotion was inspired by various articles, amongst which is the one written by Evann Gestaldo for Newser on November 13, 2018. Those who wish may check out this link which was, at the time of writing, fully active: http://www.newser.com/story/267214/mysterious-christmas-gift-to-be-opened-48-years-later.html
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann, one of my long-ago confirmands. He is singing with three brothers. This song comes from the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html