“For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son.” (John 3:16)
I stopped by the store today to get some cute wrapping paper. This is almost always a trauma, because to really “doll up” a package can cost the equivalent of the original gift, and, trying to stay within the budget is challenging enough. So, being the frugal shopper that I am, I was on the lookout for an expensive looking paper with a cheap price tag. It was in the midst of this bargain shopping, right there on aisle three, that it occurred to me that God took His love, wrapped it in the skin of a baby and sent it despite the great cost. There was no generic imitation substituted, but God – self-contained – in the frame of an infant. What a gift we have been given! How meager our attempts to replace divine generosity with mass produced presents. I marvel each year at how easily I forget what Christmas really is…and how grateful I am that God can calm the frantic pace of the man-made season and offer us another glimpse of the peace found in the humble manger where hope was born.
The lighting of the fourth Advent candle commemorates the great love which compelled God to come naked into our world to be our Messiah.