4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
We don’t like getting presents that we don’t want or that aren’t quite right. You know, the wrong size, the wrong color, the wrong whatever.
Imagine how the Israelites felt, waiting for years for a Messiah, a King to ride in and take over, a King to rescue them, a King that was flashy and had power. They got a poor baby, born out of wedlock, born in a barn, in a crummy town. No power. No rescue. No flash. A gift that was the wrong size and color.
People are still saying that today. Forget the arguments over celebrating Christmas, they don’t want the gift period. Some of us grew up in a time when people fought over prayer in schools. Now people are fighting over football players dropping to a knee on the field.
They don’t want the gift. How sad.
People will rush out the week after Christmas to exchange all the “wrong gifts” and will try to find something that they “really want”. It reminds me of people trying to exchange the “real gift”. Maybe they can exchange it for something that fits better. For all the resistance to the Gift, I like to remember Simeon:
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss[d] your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”