Like many of you, yes I too absolutely love this time of year! I love the crispness in the air, the brilliant décor of lights, the nutmeg and cinnamon aroma which graces the atmosphere in almost every place I enter. The forthcoming assembly of my family members and love ones, both those that I have seen frequently through-out the year, and those whom I have not had the privilege of seeing as often as I would like. I simply love the cherished moments of laughter cascading throughout my home, as we all congregate together in appreciation and love of Him, Jesus our Lord and Saviour, who is the absolute reason for the season!
Now to make certain that I am being absolutely transparent before you I have to also admit that like you, most often during this season I too must make conscious efforts to not get caught up in the commercialism during this season by the blitz of ads, coupons, and sales from retailers who launch their marketing attacks from every angle. Yes, it can be very easy to become sidetracked with the purchasing, prepping, and even celebrating without giving intentional thought to the true meaning of Christmas. For this reason I do not want any of us to get sidetracked, so I am writing this lesson to remind one and all of the greatest Gift ever given. As a matter of fact this Gift is so Wonderful, Beautiful, and Magnificent; that it can be re-gifted absolutely all year long, over and over and over again!
Now let me ask you… are you prepared to re-gift this Gift? Let’s see if you are…
Were you able to place a check by all of your supplies above?
Good. Now please lay them all aside since this, “Perfect Gift,” was already wrapped over two thousand years ago! I promise you that no such supplies are needed; you only must have first accepted this Gift and have a willing heart to re-gift Him!
Luke 2:6-7 – 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
It is here that we have an account of the time, the place, and the birth of baby Jesus. God Himself taking human form to live life amongst His creation, that we might know the fullness of His love for us.
6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered.
The setting: Judea was now a part of the province of the roman empire, this meant that all Jews were to be taxed with everyone else; the fact that it would be a first taxing of all the inhabitants, a census was ordered to be taken by Caesar Augustus –
For this cause, Joseph takes his wife Mary from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David. (Please review for yourself verses 1- 5).
Notice with me our Observation text which states that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered.
It is important for us to understand that although it was a declaration of Caesar Augustus to have a census taken, it was God’s DECLARATION prophesied in times past by the prophets of old; that the birth of our long awaited Sovereign Saviour and Eternal King, His Son, the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem!
2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
The One to be Ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth are from of old,
When we truly consider how God reveals His providence at work around us, through us, and despite us; it should cause us to rejoice and worship Him!
7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Let me ask you, “Do you recall what the angel said to Mary in Luke 1:27-29?” – “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” Well certainly she was, for Mary gave birth to The Eternal Word made flesh, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!
Matthew 1:21-23 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” 22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
Please stop for just one moment, and imagine with me if you will how Mary must have felt, looking into the eyes of The Ancient of days, The Everlasting Father John 1:1-5, 14 who became a child of time! It definitely lends cause for us to again stop in this moment and rejoice!
Now hopefully you noticed how I bolded, highlighted in red, and underlined two words in our observation text… This was done purposefully since often times when it come to certain actions in the bible that we deem common and customary we tend to quickly read over or even ignore the small treasures that can be seen; but these two words are the basis of our lesson today. See I wanted to make certain that we took the necessary time to bask in the beauty of Mary’s first action after giving birth to our Lord.
So what did Mary’s do? She “wrapped Him” –
Although it is was customary then and still is today for new mothers to snugly wrap their infant child upon birth, we must understand that this child, born to Mary and Joseph was no ordinary child. In Him was the fullness of Deity living in bodily form – Yes, that’s right Mary wrapped Him Who fashioned the world (John 1:1-3), Mary took swaddling clothes (strips of cloth) all that she had available, to gently cover Him who fashioned doors and thick darkness as the swaddling bands to secure the boundaries of the sea Job 38:8-11! Mary wrapped Him whose out-goings were of old from everlasting (John 7:27), the Father Himself (John 10:30), The One Who could not be bound, unless He chose too bound, which by the way, He did in pure love, for you and me!
So today’s lesson highlights God’s Gift to us!
Now possibly you might be thinking “wow, Yolanda you took a very long time to get to the main point of today’s lesson…” and yes you are correct and I admit that it was absolutely intentional!
Why? Well I am glad that you have asked!
See, I believe that too often the scene on Christmas morning occurs something like this: a race to the tree in anticipation, an anxious thrill of ripping open the first wrapped gift – and without genuine consideration and enjoyment of that gift, then a hasty movement immediately with the same actions and lack of thought processes right towards the next gift, and the next gift, and the next… until we are surrounded by piles of trash. Why? We have been conditioned by the commercialism of our times.
It is my hope that though this lesson you are willing to give genuine consideration to One and Only Perfect Gift, wrapped for you over 2000 years ago!
Let me ask you, have you accepted this Gift from God?
If not please know, that before you can re-gift Him to another, you must first have laid hold of Him for yourself!
Christmas is a time to commemorate God’s magnificent demonstration of His love towards mankind through the virgin birth of His Son Jesus Christ. It is God who offers to you, at this moment, the free gift of salvation and eternal life, which can only come through His Son, Jesus Christ.
If you have not invited Jesus Christ into your life as your personal Lord and Savior, I am praying at this very moment that God’s Holy Spirit will open your eyes and your heart to be receptive to His love, His forgiveness, and His Gift; the plan of salvation this Christmas season!
The bible says: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) and in (Romans 6:23) it says: For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
The truth, the unveiled reality is that God seeks to walk in a daily, intimate relationship with you! It is simply the Greatest Gift in the world, and it is yours today for the asking!
If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9–10)
He invites you, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20) “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).
If you would like to obtain eternal security and be brought back into a right relationship with God the Father, you must accept God’s Gift of His Son Jesus, into your heart as your personal Savior. Just pray this prayer from your heart:
Prayer of Salvation
Father God, I admit to you that I am a sinner, and I confess that I have sinned. Please forgive me, and cleanse me from all my sins. I believe that Jesus is your Son, was born of a virgin and that He died on Calvary’s cross and rose from the dead for me, and I accept your gift of forgiveness through Him. I confess my faith in Jesus as my Lord and Savior, and I ask Jesus to come into my heart.
Thank you, Lord, for your gift of Jesus, who is my salvation! Thank you for your love and your mercy. Amen.
Now let your re-gifting begin!