“Hope of all hopes, dream of our dreams,
a child is born, sweet-breathed; a son is given to us: a living gift.
And even now, with tiny features and dewy hair, He is great.
The power of leadership, and the weight of authority, will rest on His shoulders.
His name? His name we’ll know in many ways—
He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Dear Father everlasting, ever-present never-failing,
Master of Wholeness, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6, The Voice).
I confess. I love free stuff.
I periodically go by the Brentwood Public Library where they have two bookshelves off the front lobby to the right where they put all the books and other media that they can’t for whatever reason take.
I always look for hidden treasures there. Mostly, it’s old VHS tapes and 80’s-era computer manuals and other equally useful items.
Every now and then, I do find something worthwhile. A few months back, I found a 1945 Book of Common Prayer in more or less decent shape. Win.
I also like to look through the bins in front of McKay’s Used Books, Movies, Music, and So Much More Store (which isn’t really the name, but what it should be named).
Again, there’s a reason a lot of these got discarded and left behind. Still, every now and then, I can find some really cool stuff. Like the last time I was there, I found three Christmas CDs that I’ve added to my already astounding and amazing collection.
The best gift of Christmas was also free. It came in the unlikeliest of places– in a stone manger inside of a barn on the outskirts of the little town of Bethlehem. It came wrapped not in a fancy package with ribbons and bows aplenty, but in a worn-out cloth.
That gift was Emmanuel. God downsized into human flesh, infant flesh, born ultimately to be the ultimate sacrifice for you and for me.
The gift wasn’t free to God. It cost Him everything. But the gift is free to you and me. The only problem with a gift– any gift– is that it doesn’t become yours until you take it. So will you?
This Christmas, don’t get so distracted by the gifts under the tree that you miss the best gift in the manger.