Christmas Unwrapped

19.12 gift


I will always remember my first Christmas as a new Christian in 1989. The Christmas carols I had sung throughout my youth now rang out so clearly with the high truths of the gospel. Somehow I had never truly heard them before, but now, with a spiritual illumination they sounded out so clearly. In those few short months leading up to Christmas the light of the gospel had shined so brightly in my life. Everything had changed for me. I was now a believer, a true Christian, and His Word had become a lamp to my feet in a world that seemed still cloaked in darkness. How can we can be so close to the truth and yet so far? The carols on our lips, the wonder of the manger scene before us, or standing in the very shadow of the cross, and yet the essential truth of the gospel somehow passes us by?


I remember a Christian campaign back then called “Christmas Unwrapped”. The idea being that Christmas was so wrapped up with all the commerccial trimmings, we had lost sight of what was truly inside. I remember how powerful that was for me as a new believer, as one who now saw Christmas unwrapped, revealing the very person of Christ and gospel of grace. It all seemed so clear. Oh the irony a Christmas movie that seeks to show that the “true meaning of Christmas” as being..  kindness to your fellow man, or time with the family, being a good person, or being thankful or some similar idea offered. And yet, the true, true meaning of Christmas still left lying under that further layer.


Through the 90s we would often do “sketch-board evangelism”, using a paint board with a story to present the gospel. One such sketch was called “the greatest gift” and played on the idea of a gift being free, something that is paid for, but not by the receiver, but by the giver. You just open it and then you have it! How strange it would seem to leave a large, shining gift under the tree with your name on it and never open it? Surely it is stranger still that the greatest gift we could ever recieve is offered to us, yet remains unopened! And here lies the wonder of the manger, the cross and the tomb. The good news of the Christmas story is He came to pay the highest price for us, that we might recieve the greatest gift. So, what is the gift that is offered to us?


The timeless words from John 3:16 say it this way, that God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” There you see the gift, it’s eternal life. That doesn’t only mean when I die I go to heaven, though it includes that. But it is a quality of life that is also given to me this side of heaven. He came to give us an abundant life now and forever. Then how do I get it? Well the verse says that HE paid the price and now the gift is offered. It’s offered to everyone, but only recieved by..who? What does it say?   …”whoever believes”. There’s the key, to believe, to trust, to reach out in the heart and receive the gift that is offered. For, as John 1:12 says “to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the power to become children of God“. Ironically we tend to think that God is the reciever and that we are the givers. But that’s upside down. How bankrupt we are and what riches to be found in the saviour!  The key to the Christian life is not in first doing, but in first receiving, Just as I did that night back in 1989. As the Christmas carol implores, “let every heart prepare him room” and recieve the greatest gift this Christmas.







  1. Reply
    Ruth Shearman says:

    This is the ultimate gift you will ever receive. You will not want to return it or ask for a refund.
    It never wears out or gets too small but keeps on giving more and more because this gift lasts forever.

  2. Reply
    Ruth Shearman says:

    This is the ultimate gift you will ever receive. You will not want to return it or ask for a refund.
    It never wears out or gets too small but keeps on giving more and more
    This gift lasts forever!!

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