When we receive gifts, most of the time it is pretty simple.

Someone offers it to us. We either unwrap it or pull it out of the bag and VIOLA! The gift appears.

Have you ever seen those “lock boxes” that are puzzles?

They are usually some creative design and then there are different pieces that have to come out in a certain order so that you can finally get into the box and the secret compartment.


picture1Once Scott and I bought one of those cool boxes for the kids for Christmas. When we first purchased them we put a little money in each of the boxes for the kids.

The problem came on Christmas morning when after a good bit of “trying” the kids couldn’t get into the boxes and they asked us for help.

Well – many weeks had passed between the purchase and their receiving the boxes . . .so we had no idea how to get in the boxes!

How could we NOT remember the way into their gift – especially when there was money inside?

While receiving the gift of the Christ child is actually very simple, we sometimes complicate it with our humanity. We forget that in order to receive the gift and actually let the gift do what it was intended to do, it takes action on our part.

We have to admit that we don’t have it all figured out and recognize that we have “stuff” that gets in the way of us experiencing the oneness and fullness of God.

That “Stuff” is our sin.

Remember, the Greek word for sin is  hamartia, “missing the mark.”

So in order to accept the true Christmas gift, we have to admit that we are sinners. That we miss the mark in life and sometimes have “stuff” that keeps us from receiving the ultimate gift of love, grace, and forgiveness.

Recognizing this stuff and then giving it up means we give up control. And as a whole, we tend to like to make sure that we stay in control of our lives and circumstances. Giving it up means that we descend lower than any of us really want to go.

Yet the beauty of Jesus is seen in how low he came to love us. Divinity becomes revealed in humanity so that we can truly see and receive the ultimate gift – the gift of transformation that comes with accepting Christ’s gift of life.

Our spiritual regeneration and eventual greatness are achieved by going down the same path as Jesus.

S. Lewis puts it beautifully.

“In the incarnation we catch sight of a new key principle— the power of the Higher, just in so far as it is truly Higher, to come down, the power of the greater to include the less. . . . Everywhere the great enters the little— its power to do so is almost the test of its greatness. In the Christian story God . . . comes down; down from the heights of absolute being into time and space, down into humanity; But He goes down to come up again and bring the whole ruined world up with Him.”[1]

Romans 5:8

But God shows his love for us, because while we were still sinners Christ died for us.


[1] Keller, Timothy (2016-10-25). Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the Birth of Christ (pp. 17-19). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.