“And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14 NASB)
Excitement was in the air as the UPS guy dropped off a ginormous package. It was huge and in there were gifts sent from Nana and Auntie. The kids were beyond excited as they dug through the packing peanuts looking for the gift with their name on it. There were small boxes and large ones. There were those that made noise when shaken and those that simply intrigued the imagination. As they pulled out each gift they tried to guess what was inside and oohed and aahed at the biggest one among them. The funny thing was, after all the gifts were taken out and placed under the tree, the kids wanted to play in the great big box they all traveled in. The wanted the box and the peanuts and the fun that goes with it. They had quickly forgotten about what was inside and only desired the box. Although they are 13 and 10, it was as if they were babies again gaining more joy from the box than the gift.
I thought about that this morning as I once again thought about the season. I thought about the cookies I love to bake and the decorations that adorn my home. I thought about the lights hung on the tree and outside of the house. I thought about the shopping I still have to do and the menu I need to plan. All of these things surround Christmas, but that is not what Christmas is about. I confess that I have spent my time trying to create a Christmas feel in my home and among my family but the heart of Christmas seems to have eluded me. I have been more concerned about the things that surround the holiday instead of focusing on Jesus.
I would never want to kill the excitement my children have this time of year. And I understand that they are kids. But I long to have them grow to be deeply connected to the Lord. I want them to step out of the world into the presence of a loving God who sent His son as a gift to us. I want them to truly grasp the sacrifice Jesus made in order to come and dwell among us. I so want that for them and I want that for myself too. I want to grow deeper in my appreciation and love for the Gift. I don’t want to get caught up in the wrapping that surrounds Him.
Help me Lord to be more enamored with You than the packaging.