I wasn’t until I was married that I found an appreciation for one of the greatest Christmas movies of all time. “A Christmas Story” is about a young boy named Ralphie with his heart set on receiving a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas. Everyone in his life tells him “You’ll shoot your eye out” and he is left discouraged. On Christmas morning he searches for a gift under the tree that might resemble its shape. He is left disappointed after every gift is unwrapped.
Overlooking the sea of wrapping paper, Ralphie’s mother asks, “Did you have a nice Christmas?”
With a sigh he replies, “Yeah”.
His dad follows with,”Did you get everything you wanted?”
“Well, there’s always next Christmas.” Ralphie’s dad reassures.
Suddenly, his dad directs Ralphie to something hidden in the corner. An unwrapped gift. Could it be his beloved Red Ryder BB gun? Ralphie’s elation is palpable as he tears into the long slender package.
I think we’ve all had that one gift that we desperately wanted and couldn’t contain our excitement as it lay opened before us. This Christmas my husband gave me a gift card for a massage. I opened it and cried. For someone to give me money and time to care for myself is one of the greatest gifts I could ever receive.
One year when I was a young teenager, my cousins and I scraped our money together and had our photos taken at Sears. We divided the hundreds of photos and wrapped them for our mothers and grandmother. I can still see the shock and tears on their faces as they opened their gifts at the same time. For them it was a gift that they didn’t even ask for, but cherished once opened.
Each Christmas we are reminded of a gift given to all of us. The gift of hope, joy, peace, and love embodied in God’s Son. We all have a choice to make. Do we allow the gift to stay hidden in a corner, waiting for something better next year? Or do we open the gift, discovering it is something we had wanted and needed all along.
Thankfully, we don’t have to wait until next Christmas. God gives us every moment of every day to unwrap a relationship with Him. Once we do that, it’s like receiving a gift every day. A gift of new life.
Next month I am going to write about what it looks like to walk with God every day. Not a strict set of rules, but entering into a relationship. First you have to put your faith in Him. You have to open that gift.
“For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift — “ Ephesians 2:8
If this is something you’ve never done or maybe you did years ago and need to come back to Him, you can pray this prayer to get you started, untying the bow and releasing the wrapping:
“Dear God, thank you for your gift of your Son. I know I don’t deserve it, but I want to learn what it means to have faith in you and allow you to be a part of my life. Open my eyes and show me the next steps to take. Amen.”
If you prayed this prayer, leave a comment here or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org . Tell a believing friend or pastor. They can help you with the next steps to take as a new believer.
Don’t let another moment pass without unwrapping the gift your life needs the most.