It took only 24 hours for my daughter to blurt out what she’d gotten me for Christmas. I’d known anyway because I’d sent a dollar to school for her to buy a homemade wash cloth from another parent. When I picked her up that afternoon, she pretended secrecy.
“Mom, don’t look in my backpack. I bought you a present.” I gave her some wrapping paper and sent her to her room.
A few minutes later, “Mom, I’ll give you a hint. It’s square and you use it in the bathroom.” Because I knew, I didn’t panic that it was toilet paper.
The next day, “Mom, I got you a wash cloth!”
She’s the age where the fun of a surprise is the revealing of it, not the keeping of it. The pressure of anticipation is too great, and like a geyser, the surprise eventually blows.
God, the Father, proudly revealed his present to us. He may have invaded the world quietly, humbly, but not secretly. After letting the anticipation build for a thousand years, his burst on the scene in the form of a baby.
Sometimes grace is hard to find. It can have clandestine qualities. It gets muddied up by the filth of life. But God’s desire is for grace to be found, not hidden. At the manger we find new grace. We are reminded that God stepped toward us, even while we were stepping away from him.
Let us receive his present this year.