Friday, December 16, 2016

"A Regal Wrap"

I went to the Container Store. That is gift wrap heaven! Bows and boxes, tins and totes, ribbons and wrap… it is tough to choose. Gift wrap is important. The question is, do the trappings trump the contents? This year we will spend $3 Billion on gift wrap.

In Bethlehem, there were no trappings to trump the contents. This was no casually wrapped baby boy. Oh yes, it was a regal wrap, God gives us his son, Jesus, to save us from our sins; to spare us from alienation, estrangement, guilt, shame and sin. Romans 6:23, has it, “The free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.’

Christmas excels in gift-giving. The ultimate gift is not found under a tree. God’s gift to us is to wrap his mercy around our guilt, to wrap his peace around our violence, to wrap his love around our loneliness.

“To you is born this day in the city of David, a savior, who is Christ the Lord.” At Christmas we celebrate the mystery of the incarnation, not a myth. Our rational gifts can only take us so far. What we need is revelation.

Jesus Christ is not a truth we master but the truth before which we surrender. The question that should fill our moments in reflection is this: will we allow ourselves the mystery of God’s embrace of grace in Jesus Christ?

T.S. Eliot said, “The tragedy of Christmas is to have the experience and miss the meaning.”


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