The origin of the gift matters

by DanWolgemuth on December 24, 2010

Have you ever noticed the process that takes place when a gift is unwrapped on Christmas morning? After the discovery has been made, the story follows; the story of acquisition.

I noticed this first with my father many, many years ago in Wheaton, Illinois. My mother would often unwrap a beautiful dress on Christmas morning, but the story behind the dress primarily involved a woman named Rae Murray. Rae was a woman that my parents had “rescued” from an abusive husband. She worked at the Joy of Wheaton dress shop, and she knew perfectly well my mother’s dress size and taste. She was my father’s connection; his back-story behind the purchase.

The origin of a gift is important. It tells a lot about the giver and the gift.

These stories certainly persist around our tree on Christmas morning. Amazon; Black Friday; Craig’s List; another Internet source… “how” is often as significant as “what.”

In Bethlehem over two thousand years ago, Jesus was an unprecedented gift; but the back story of the gift is vital to the significance. A virgin was the source of God’s redemption; the conduit through which He would rescue the world. Mary’s purity wasn’t an ancillary part of the story… it was vital. God’s plan was that the grand deceiver, the devil, would one day be defeated by the “seed of a woman.” (Genesis 3:15) This isn’t a misprint or a mistake… the virgin birth cleared the way for the Son of Man to avoid the condemnation of Adam (Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— Romans 5:12 (ESV).

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” ~ Isaiah 7:14 (ESV)

The origin of the gift matters. How Jesus came to be is more than a fable and it’s so much more than an unnecessary part of the story… it empowers the plan; it changes the trajectory of history; it fuels our salvation.

This Christmas, when somebody begins to tell the story about how a gift was acquired… remember the grandest story of all. Jesus, the ultimate gift, and Mary, the virgin; so that victory can be won; so that sin can be conquered; so that lives can be transformed.

No one like Jesus. No birth like His.

Merry Christmas!

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