I am recalling a Christmas when our youngest son, Chandler, was a child. I don’t remember how old he was, but he was old enough to think of someone other than himself. He had an idea. He would wrap up a gift for his older sister, Anne, and not tell anyone about it. It was going to be his secret surprise, and no one would know — not his mother or father, not his older brother, and most certainly, not Anne.
So it was that a few days before Christmas, when the rest of the family was wrapping gifts, Chandler had gotten some paper and done some wrapping of his own. At least as best as I can figure, that’s the way it went down, because none of us ever saw him wrap anything. In fact, we knew nothing about this until Christmas morning when he proudly produced, from under the tree, his own a gift for Anne, and all of us looked at each other to find out who had helped him, only to find befuddlement on every face.
Anne was totally taken by the gesture, and it was a good thing for her to have something to smile about, as the last few days had been full of anguish, totally absorbed in trying to find a CD from one of her medical school classes at the USC. The CD was irreplaceable in that it included videos of her work that was to be a large portion of her grade in the class. Without it, she would fail and have to take the course over again. It was beginning to look like that was exactly what she would have to do. We had gone through everything — her car, her room, the rest of the house — and found nothing. Anne had given up hope.
So she happily took the gift from Chandler, tore into the the wrapping paper (which took a little time because Chandler had used so much Scotch Tape), and stared at what she uncovered with a strange mixture of joy and anger. It was the CD we had turned the house upside down looking for! Chandler had wanted to give Anne something on his own so he had found something he knew she wanted and wrapped it up for her.
This was one year when Chandler knew he was giving the best gift of Christmas because everyone was looking for it.
God knows He has the best gift of Christmas. He watches us scrambling, plotting, searching, doubting, hoping, losing hope, and turning our lives upside down in search of it, knowing full well that He has what we’re looking for. It doesn’t mean we don’t stop looking, because His gifts are everywhere. Yet it is good to know that the real gift of God’s son — everything we could possibly want — is already wrapped and waiting for us under the tree. No need to panic. We already have the best gift of Christmas.
Each day during Advent we will post a question we encourage you to use in your own reflection, and in discussion with family and friends. We also encourage you to forward this Advent Catch to others. Take the opportunity of the season to spread the word.
ADVENT QUESTION (Marti wants to know…)
- While you are scurrying all around, frantically looking in all of the wrong places for what you desperately need, God is warming His hands over the fires of anticipation, waiting for you to discover He has what you always wanted. Open your eyes real wide and look in places where you would least expect His gift. Once you have found His gift, unwrapped it, and discovered it fits perfectly, please share with us what it was that He intended for only you.
- Share your comment below.
- Post and Tweet a question on your Facebook and Twitter accounts.
- Use #CatchAdvent.
[Our BlogTalkRadio interview last night with noted author and American religious historian, Randall Balmer, is an eyeopener on Christianity in America in the last hundred years. It is well worth a listen.]