The Gift That Keeps On Giving
By Pastor Troy Brewer
I write this sip of flavored wisdom on my birthday. I know its later than December 6th when you read this but its takes the Brewer a little more than a week to grind his column, but please feel free to send gifts.
December 6th is not only known for the glorious day God blessed the world with my 3 pounds of splendor (my how I’ve grown since then) but it is also famous for being known as the day America got drunk. About 30 years before I was born, prohibition ended on December 5th and most of America went to have a legal drink on the next day. I think God has a big sense of humor about a lot things and having me born on that day is somehow poetic. I have probably driven several people to drinking. Sorry, but still feel free to send gifts.
Kill the Grinch
The whole world is about to celebrate the birthday of the greatest troublemaker and peace giver ever seen. Christmas might have an X in the name of your holiday but you probably are still going to give or get a gift or two. The whole gift-giving thing goes back to the original scene. Wise men from the east of Israel came to Bethlehem with three kinds of gifts that would bank role Mary and Joseph on their exiled trip to Egypt.
If you look at those three gifts in the book of Matthew, we discover an important, yet often-overlooked, theological fact; in this account, there is no mention of wrapping paper.
If there had been wrapping paper, Matthew would have said, "And lo, the gifts were encompassed about with 7 square cubits of paper. The paper was covered within and without with pictures of Frosty, a man of snow.
Joseph purposed in his heart to cast the paper into the barrel of refuse, but Mary saith unto him, ‘Cease man. Thou shalt not. For Mary had purposed in heart that the paper should be set-aside for future generations, and Joseph didst roll his eyeballs at the wonder of his wife. It came to pass that the babe was more interested in the paper than the frankincense.”
…But these words do not appear in the Bible, which means that the very first Christmas gifts were NOT wrapped. This is because the people giving those gifts had two important characteristics: 1. They were wise. 2. They were men not women.
Men are not big gift wrappers. Men do not understand the point of putting paper on a gift just so somebody else can tear it off. You can tell when I have wrapped a gift because it’s either in a hefty bag with a bow on it or it looks like a giant spitball.
For some reason, I can never completely wrap a gift. I can take a gift the size of a deck of cards and put it the exact center of a section of wrapping paper the size of a rodeo arena but when I am done folding and taping, you can still see a piece of the gift poking out.
On the other hand, if you give my wife a 12-inch square of wrapping paper, she can wrap a C-130 cargo plane. My stepmother, like many women, actually likes wrapping things. If she gives you a gift that requires batteries, she wraps the batteries separately, which to me is bordering on mental illness.
Roll Your Own
The editors of Woman's Day magazine recently ran an item on how to make your own wrapping paper by printing a design on it with an apple sliced in half horizontally and dipped in a mixture of food coloring and liquid starch. Those people are smoking crack and need to get a job!
Remember that the important thing is not what you give, or even how you wrap it. The important thing, during this very special time of year, is that you save the receipt. Because most of us knucklehead men don’t have since when it comes to buying gifts anyway.
I find that Jesus Christ, who the Bible calls the unspeakable gift, does tend to come gift-wrapped. Part of the journey of Christianity is about discovery and revelation. Jesus Christ is not the guy that lives in the building with a big steeple on it, take that wrapper off and you discover He’s the God that lives with you in your living room even when its messy. He loves it when we unwrap him from religion and our pain and see him for who he really is. Yes wise men and girls still seek him and yes, incredibly blessed people still receive Him for the gift He really is.
Unwrapping Jesus as a gift is not a one-time thing. God’s goodness towards us is ongoing and never ending. It’s a progressive journey into an inheritance that is so awesome it will take an eternity for us to unwrap it. Keep unwrapping guys, and see Him this season in a way you’ve seen him before.
"Thanks be unto God for his UNSPEAKABLE gift.''--II Cor. 9:15
Pastor Troy "The Brewer" Brewer is Senior Pastor and Founder of Open Door Ministries in Joshua, Texas. To contact The Brewer, please email us at FFTB@OpenDoorMinistries.org