An Early Gift   Leave a comment

Because of some interesting circumstances, we are having our family Christmas celebration a bit early this year. This means that there will be an exchange of gifts before the actual holiday. This is not necessary a unique situation, but for me, it is a completely normal thing that goes back to my childhood memories. 

Photo by Pixabay on

I do not know the reason why she did it, but Mom let my sister and I open one present on Christmas Eve every year. Personally, I think is because my sister was completely impatient, and Mom had a choice between going batty over a begging child or giving in slightly to shut said child up. I’m sure that would NEVER have been ME. Read on when you’ve finished rolling your eyes and saying, “yea, right, Dave!”

Getting gifts early can be a fun adventure. As a child, I knew whatever it was I was receiving couldn’t possibly be from Santa because he wasn’t coming until later that night. So, it had to be from Mom, meaning it had more significance as a gift of love. 

The mother of Jesus had no concept of Christmas. It didn’t exist yet. But Mary found herself being given a present that would start the whole process. Perhaps we could call this the first-ever Christmas present, the present of Christmas itself! 

How would you respond if this gift had been given you? Yes, even men can ponder this because of the stepfather status of Joseph. Everything we learn in the story of Jesus’ birth indicates that Mary’s only question was with logistics, because physically, this was not a possibility She received her answer and was perfectly content to move forward with God’s plan. 

My purpose for approaching all of this from this angle is because it reminds one of the value of a gift, not matter when it is given or received. We can look at this even through thick theological lenses and analyze it pieces given the prophecies and actuation of events precisely as they were predetermined. We can talk for weeks on end about the timing of the Christ-child’s entrance into the world and argue for better possibilities prior to or since it happened. We can pick apart the text and language nuances that offer either confusing or mor informative insights into this miracle. 

Or…we can remember what’s behind it. 

God’s love is far more than we can ever fathom, and it was always God’s design to help us see what that looks like. Details are irrelevant for this truth. Like the special gift Mom would allow me to open early, I knew the heart from which it came. Mary quickly learned God’s heart not only in her encounter with the angel that fateful eve, but also in a way nobody in human history would ever know so deeply—carrying the Christ child had to be an incredible journey. 

I do not know what you are hoping to receive this Christmas. Frankly, it is of no concern to me. But I do know one thing I hope you receive every day, and maybe even more so on Christmas. God’s love is freely offered to you. It always has been and always will be. You can open this gift any time you wish. All that is asked is that you receive it. 

If it was me, I’d open it early!

Love, Pep 

Posted December 8, 2020 by David N. Peppler, Sr. in Uncategorized

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