Sunday, January 06, 2008

The Joy of Discovery

As I reflect back to Christmas morning, I think of the faces of our four grand kids as they unwrapped their presents. As is our family tradition, we gathered together on Christmas morning and read of the birth of our Savior from the Gospel of Luke. Then we turned the kids loose on their gifts.

Filled with anticipation and excitement they would tear the wrapping paper off to discover what’s inside. Their eyes would light up, their mouths and faces would be descriptive of their discovery. There was no fear of the wrapping. They were not afraid of what was inside. There was no hesitation in opening their gifts. Why? Because they knew that the hands that wrapped them were hands of love.

Christian growth in life is a little like that. Our lives are wrapped up with the wrappings of sin and self, hiding and protecting ourselves from being discovered. Sometimes the wrapping looks all pretty and admirable, and sometimes not so pretty.

Those who are afraid to unwrap their lives probably fear that inside they will find condemnation, punishment, and shame. Yet, the hands that wrapped us up into the person that we are were hands of love. As a believer, inside, we will always discover more of Jesus and more of His mercy, love, and grace.

Most of us, most of the time, just try to make the packages look nice. Wrap it all up and put a bow on it. Put new wrappings on ourselves so we look good and feel better about ourselves. Most of our lives are spent rearranging the packages under the tree but never having Christmas morning. Never opening the packages to find the gifts. How sad!

Every time I tear off another layer of wrapping in my life I find more of Jesus and His grace inside. Why do I fear the wrappings or fear tearing them off to discover the gift? Everyday is Christmas when we discover that the gift inside is always Jesus.

1 John 4:18 (NASB95)
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.”

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