Monday, December 15, 2014

Gifts... by Ben Hazlett

I just finished ordering the last of my Christmas presents online.  Between family obligations, work, our huge remodel project, and church obligations, I just never find time to shop the traditional way.  Enter Amazon.  I can get almost anything I want... and usually for cheaper... and they'll even wrap it for me.  Of course I have to add a few more things for myself to qualify for the "super saver shipping."  

As I hit the "one click" ordering, a thought occurred to me.  My biggest worry in preparing for Christmas this year (other then our house being torn apart, of course) was whether or not I qualified for free shipping.  What must Joseph and Mary have worried about as they prepared for the first Christmas?  Joseph was most likely fearing he would not find a place for his wife to give birth and with those fears must have come thoughts of inadequacy and failure. Christ, the Son of God was coming to Joseph's family and he had no palace to receive him.  There was no great hospital with jacuzzi tubs and celebration dinners.  There was only a stable.   

Mary likely got to experience much the same fear combined with the pain of giving life which only those who have gone through it can understand.  Doing all of this in a stable with cows and horses for nurses and midwives.  

And I know they worried if they would ever be able to provide for Him, teach Him, and protect Him.  I know because that's exactly what I worry about everyday with my own children and though they are also children of God, Jesus was The Son of God.  It was in those circumstances that Joseph and Mary were sent the greatest Christmas gift of all time: Jesus Christ.  

That is the Gift I need to remember every time I worry about our house never getting finished, never having enough time for work or church responsibilities, or my beautiful wife struggling with being pregnant and the mother of two small lively children in the midst of everything.  This because God's Gift and Christ's Gift is the only Gift that has the power to lift burdens, give joy, provide healing, enlighten the way, and bestow eternal happiness with Christ and all our loved ones.  And we don't have to worry about shipping or even making "one click."  It is given to all.  Merry Christmas!