Friday, December 23, 2011

“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.” Luke 2: 6-7

Sometimes the best gifts come in unexpected packages. 

I’m not much of a “splurger,” especially when it comes to makeup. My products tend to come from the same stores I buy groceries, dog food and laundry supplies. So, when my daughter and I spent time one day playing on one of those try-it-on beauty stores, we had a blast. I discovered the perfect shade of eye shadow, but decided to hold off – it was a little pricey.

After thinking about it for quite a while, I decided it was worth the money and went back to the mall to get it. I raced in, late for an appointment. I looked for the name on the display, grabbed it, paid the clerk and left. When I got it home, I realized the colors had been mixed up in the display and I got a couple shades lighter than my preferred one.

Making the trek back to the mall was out of the question. I ended up trying the shadow a few times. Guess what? I decided the color was great. My disappointment turned to happiness, even in the unexpected.

I wonder what people thought when, after 400 years of silence, the greatest gift of all came in the form of a baby in a lowly manger in Bethlehem. I would imagine the expectation was that God would come to save the world in a way that was powerful, visible and hard to miss. Because that was the way of the world. Leaders tended to come to power through strength and their ability to defeat their enemies. I suspect in people’s minds, the Savior would have to compete in that arena.

But God.

God, who could have commanded armies of angels to announce his presence, instead chose a quiet night, in a stable surrounded by animals, to enter humanity. It was humble, average and not what anyone would choose or expect. Anyone, that is, but our Heavenly Father who knew the perfect plan.
That silent night was momentous for history. Nothing would be the same after Jesus became human. He was willing to submit to live among His creation. He would submit to the lowest of lows for his chosen people. His gift of salvation included bearing the burden of all our sins, in order that we might be forgiven.

It is a gift that can never be repaid. Unexpected, yet perfect in every way.

Merry Christmas! Praise God!


  1. You are so right about unexpected packages. I recall clearly a Christmas seven years ago when Scott and I were going to try in a couple of months for a baby. Instead we conceived that very day. We bore our third daughter, Clara, one day before we were to leave for Switzerland. We lost our trip but oh what a trade. We got the better end of the deal!

  2. Shannon, I love this story! He always knows what's best for us!