Matthew 2:2 – Where is the one who has been born King of the Jews? We saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him. (NIV)
Matthew 2:6 – Out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel. (NIV)
Gift giving is a favourite pastime at our house, and at Christmas, most of all. We enjoy choosing something appropriate and wrapping it with beautiful paper and ribbons. It is so much fun to change the appearance with an odd-shaped box, or adding bells or a rock, or putting wire under the ribbon, etc.
One year, I gave my grandson a big hairy coconut. It was not what he expected, and he was disappointed. Of course, there was a proper gift for him too. As teens, the kids expected a trick of some sort from grandma, and were disappointed when there wasn't one.
The people of Jesus' time expected a king, or at least a prince, to be born — not a babe in a manger. They expected someone to rescue them from Roman domination, not a teacher of the Word. Yet what they received was so much more. God didn't trick them. They had a pre-conceived idea of the packaging of their Messiah. Likewise God gives us what we need, not necessarily what we want.
Prayer: Dear Saviour, as we prepare and wrap our gifts this Christmas season, help us to remember that, coming to us the way You did, You provided us with exactly what we needed, wrapping Your love for us in Jesus. Help us to enjoy Your birthday by spreading the peace, through the good news of salvation, that You long for us to have. We worship You. Amen.