A Quiet Gift
We might have expected some sort of fanfare. After all, God doesn’t send the long-expected Messiah every day. Signs in the heavens, peals of thunder, some enormous flashes of lightening, etc., would seem to be called for.
Instead we have a peasant woman becoming pregnant and an angel appearing to Joseph in a dream (note: no witnesses) to alert us that Emmanuel, “God with us,” has come. No fanfare at all.
Perhaps, though, we shouldn’t be surprised. In the midst of all the Christmas cantatas, aren’t the children who are singing “Away in a Manger” often the ones who move us most? Or the handmade ornaments in the midst of various expensive gifts? Or the chance to see your grandmother or other special relative again that is worth more than all the parties? These quiet gifts are the ones that seem to touch our hearts and last. Just like God’s gift of Emmanuel. In these quiet gifts is the hope that we might begin to experience God’s gift throughout the year.
—Dr. Mitzi Minor
- What about Christmas moves you the most? Is it the special worship services at church, the nativity scenes, the thoughtfulness of a special friend, the sense that all is right with the world or at peace, or something else? Think about a particular Christmas that was really meaningful to you.
- Are you aware that God is with us all year, or are you only reminded at Christmas? Why or why not?
- What quiet gifts have you received in the past that still remind you of that person’s love or God’s love? What characteristics does this gift have that made it so special?
How Do I Act?
- In this week before Christmas resolve to spend some quiet time reflecting on God’s gift (quietly given) of Emmanuel. In the midst of the noise of this special season, take time each day for this reflection. Finally, pray a prayer of thanks to God for this gift.
- Have a time of sharing in your church about what it means for you that God is with you. Discuss ways that you can remind one another of this reality all year long. Think about a particular person in your life that needs to know that God is with them. Is there something you can do for them?
- Think about giving a gift to someone who is close to you. One gift you might give in their honor is a gift for your church or to a Ministry team of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church or one of its institutions.