Have you ever gotten a gift that didn’t seem too exciting or even interesting for that matter? It may be that shirt that ends up becoming your favorite or some other article that you just didn’t expect to like quite so much; nothing wrong with it, mind you; just not exciting.
For me, that gift was a Bible. It was an imitation-leather-bound Bible, in the King James Version. I was appreciative of course, and happy, but why 16th century English? (Come on, mom!) Besides with grandpa’s death on that very day, it was pretty tough to get excited about anything. And so my gift sat, largely untouched for a very long time. By the early 70s I was starting high school and for some reason I picked it up. Its words now seemed somehow beautiful and worshipful when before they seemed wooden and inaccessible. Now, more than 50 years later, that gift has become precious to me. It is a constant companion in my devotions, and reminds me now, not only of grandpa, but of my parents. Recovered by my son in genuine leather, a few years ago, it remains one of my treasured gifts.
When she was yet a young woman, an angel came to Mary to announce the impossible. Some months later, carrying a holy child, she was greeted with exuberant joy by her cousin. After the baby’s birth, she had welcome curious shepherds, and then later, itinerant astrologers, all of whom had come just to get a glimpse of this baby. And now, twelve years later, her precocious son was wowing a group of religious scholars in the temple.
At each and every point along the way, Mary thought about, reflected upon, pondered, treasured in her heart, and celebrated this gift, for which she had been the chosen vehicle. It was becoming ever clearer that this baby was beyond simple, one-time understanding. It needs to be thought about.
The gift of the child Jesus at Christmas—every Christmas—warrants ongoing reflection. Always. Do you? Have you this year? Think about it.