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The present was wrapped in a box big enough for a major appliance. Inside was another box a small child could fit in. After that, the boxes inside got progressively smaller. With each successive opening, the excitement built … what could it possibly be? What would this reveal?


In the end, it’s not the hidden present that intrigues me in this viral video of parental mischief, but the response. Utter joy, wild dancing, excited hugs. All the unwrapping, all the fighting of packing tape, the digging through paper, all the anticipation is worth it because of what is inside that last little box.


Yesterday morning we celebrated the ultimate “unwrapping”… we celebrated the One who created everything, who wrapped the cosmos in light and sound, life and energy, and packed Himself into the tiniest of presents — a baby.


Is there anything more worthy of our joy? Our celebration?


It’d been 400 years since the people of Israel last had a true prophet or major encounter with God. Sacrifices continued to be offered, seasons and celebrations kept, but mostly there’s a long record of silence…400 years worth of waiting. Babies were born and came of age, learned the stories and experienced the longings. They in turn raised their own children and grew old; they neither saw nor heard anything. For four centuries.


Until suddenly, things started happening — and happening fast. A star appeared, as did angels: first one, then a whole army of them. Religious seekers from far-away lands showed up with strange stories, and old men and women at the Temple starting making shocking proclamations. It was like the sudden, chaotic, and outside-our-control arrival of labor.


For Mary, for Israel, for the world.


For us.


I’ve been captivated with the image that accompanies this post, "Nativity" by Brian Kershisnik. The original is more than 17 feet long. There is something so real about it to me; the response seems both genuine and appropriate, like after 400 years of waiting, things have finally, forever changed. Time to adore, time to go and tell.


Christ is worthy of all the celebration and joy we can ever offer. Praying for all of us to once again experience the breaking of the silence, see the star in the sky, hear the song of the angels and find ourselves at the foot of manger.


Grace and peace, y’all,


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