2 Corinthians 9:15
When I was a kid, I couldn’t wait for Christmas. I would count the days (and even the hours) – and I’m not sure that I ever slept at all on Christmas Eve. The anticipation of Christmas gifts was simply too much for me to deal with. In fact, it was so hard to wait . . . that sometimes I didn’t wait!
I guess I was about eight or nine years old. For some reason, my older sister and I had been left home alone for a short time. It was only a few days before Christmas. We were old enough to realize that there might be some Christmas presents hidden somewhere in the house. Together, we set out to find them. After looking in some of the more obvious hiding places – and finding nothing – we stumbled on a gold mine. Actually, we didn’t really “stumble” on it – it required some climbing. On the top shelves of our parents’ closet, there were indeed some gifts. All we wanted was to see them, and to know that they were there.
I have this vivid picture in my mind: my sister is standing on a chair reaching as high as she can. I am standing next to her demanding that she tell me what she sees. Then, much to our surprise, our Dad is clearing his throat behind us to let us know that he is watching the whole thing. He had come home unexpectedly.
It wasn’t one of my better moments – even though I tried to explain that I simply couldn’t help myself. (And, of course, I also explained that I was only following the lead of my older sister!)
Other than the embarrassment that I still feel today about that episode, I don’t remember how – or if – we were punished. I think we already felt plenty foolish, and Dad probably knew that. And I don’t remember if he ever told Mom what we had done.
I confess that looking for the hidden presents was a silly thing to do. All the same, our childhood escapade captures the excitement of an anticipated gift – not a bad way to feel this time of year.
Our Heavenly Father has given us the best gift ever given – His only Son. And if we are not filled to overflowing with excitement and anticipation at this point, then we probably don’t understand what an incredible gift has been given.
In a part of his letter to the Corinthians that deals with generosity and ministry and service, the Apostle Paul lets loose with a shout of praise: “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” As we look forward to Christmas this year, that’s a perfect word to prepare us for God’s greatest gift.