Editor’s note: This devotion appeared in the December issue of CTA’s Grab ‘N Go newsletter. In case you missed it in the busyness of the season, we are reprinting it here for you and publishing it today. All of us at CTA wish you and those you love a very Merry Christmas and a most blessed New Year!
Survey the presents under the tree. Do you see your name on some of them? Some stand out because of their size and presentation—big boxes with expensive wrappings and ribbons. One gift there could easily go unnoticed; it’s quite small with less-than-exquisite wrappings. Which one would you likely open first, or at least, want to open first?
It’s easy to expect more from larger, more lovely gifts. But think about the smaller package. It could hold a diamond ring, a Rolex watch, keys to a new car, a cell phone, or even a roll of one hundred dollar bills! Yes, big things can come in small packages.
Sometimes it’s not the price tag that makes a small gift valuable. A handwritten note of thanks or a child’s homemade pencil holder can carry much more value than the big screen TV that took an entire roll of paper to wrap.
Big things come in small packages. It’s especially true during the Christmas season. Maybe the best example is the Infant wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in the manger.
There, in an out-of-the-way corner of Bethlehem, in a place animals call home, look at who, not what, lies before you. The newborn Baby comes wrapped in swaddling clothes, without bows or ribbons. He doesn’t garner a lot of attention, especially when so many bigger options surround him, vying for our attention—things like large appetites for money, big opportunities for career advancement, giant ego boosters, and enormous, self-serving gifts.
But kneel there. Look into the manger. There you will find a small gift, heaven’s gift, a gift worth more than anything else in all the world. This Child is wrapped in grace with a bow of truth. Salvation with ten fingers and ten toes. Forgiveness with a heartbeat. Peace wrapped in flesh. Hope that breathes new life into the lives of all who embrace him in faith.
These gifts are priceless, although the one who gives them has a price on his head. This baby is born to die so we can live. He will live the perfect life we are unable to live. He will one day accept the Father’s punishment for our sins, the punishment we deserve. He will travel from the wooden manger to the wood of a cross to the stone cold reality of a tomb. He will emerge from that tomb victorious, to spend all eternity with us—so great is his love for us.
Journey to Bethlehem. See the tiny gift, wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. But don’t just look. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, embrace The Gift. And let the Child open his gifts of true and eternal life for you. Stand in awe. Kneel to worship. Rejoice and give thanks, for today is born for you a Savior, Christ the Lord. Surely, big things can come in small packages.
(As you contemplate the enormity of the gift of Jesus Christ, consider reading Isaiah 9:6; Isaiah 53:2–6; Luke 2:1–20; and Romans 6:23.)
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