The story you are about to read is true. It’s about a gift easy to dismiss. It would be delightful to receive, if you understand the gift.
One cold December day, a busy mother placated her bored young son by offering him one of the craft kits she received monthly by mail. He chose the one for a small, wooden planter box with delicate brass trim forming a faux clock face. He cut, nailed, stained, and glued. The finished product couldn’t have been better. Mom was pleased with her idea and his craftsmanship.
His grade school class had their Christmas party, and they swapped gifts with their beloved teacher. A substitute teacher took charge the last few days before the holiday break. Our young pupil realized that the sub wouldn’t receive a gift from anyone in the class. Then it came to him. He would give her his prized box!
With mom’s concurrence, he carefully wrapped the gift and took it on the school bus. Stepping quickly to the classroom, he delivered it to the teacher’s desk. As the class watched, the busy teacher opened it. “That’s nice,” she said. He explained proudly, “I made it.” “No, you didn’t,” she said as she set it aside.
The teacher wasn’t looking for a handcrafted gift from a tenderhearted child. To her, the personal and loving gift was a childish lie. Before we judge the respectable teacher too harshly, do you consider the most precious and costly gift ever given – that Babe in the manger, the Christ of the cross – with a dismissive glance?
Why is that easy to do? You cannot find what you do not seek. Blaise Pascal said God is “willing to appear openly to those who seek Him with all their heart, and to be hidden from those who flee from Him.” God could have provided the Gift to the world with glorious fanfare and worldwide recognition. Instead, the Advent was humble, yet seekers found Him. “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jer. 29:13).
Who is this Gift to humanity? Jesus is your Sabbath rest from your work to earn favor with God (Heb. 4:9). Jesus prepared an eternal place for you and He is the Way to it (John 14:6). Jesus brings meaning to a mean world, promising that the poor will receive the kingdom, the hungry will be satisfied, the weeping will laugh, and the scorned will have their joyful reward in heaven (Luke 6:20-23).
Today the personal and loving Gift is still offered, and received by faith. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Wise men and women still seek and find that delightful Gift.