Summary: Shows Mary taking care of God's Gift
“MARY WRAPPED A PRESENT TO THE WORLD”
David P. Nolte
Christmas is a time for loving, for including, for remembering, and for giving. Christmas is a time when we can truly discover that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Christmas is a time for joy and peace and generosity.
Christmas began in the heart of God and finds ultimate expression in God’s Christmas Gift, Jesus.
God is the Greatest Giver; Jesus is the Greatest Gift, we are the greatest recipients.
This morning I want to draw some simple parallels between the gifts we give and the Gift God gave to us all. LET’S READ THE TEXT:
“Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’” Luke 2:1-12 (NASB)
The virgin Mary was chosen ion Heaven to be the one to deliver God’s gift – and as we consider that recall Brenda’s song:
Mary wrapped a present to the world,
On that first Christmas morn, when King Jesus was born,
Mary wrapped a present to the world.
I. CONSIDER HOW SHE WRAPPED GOD’S GIFT:
A. “And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths.”
B. Speaking of gift wrapping, I have seen some very clever, creative, thoughtful ideas!
1. Some packages are decorated in various shapes to look like a shirt or a clown or t.v. set
2. Some gifts are adorned with holly, mistletoe, glitter, ribbons and bows.
3. Some presents are wrapped in expensive, ornate, attractive, shiny, flamboyant, gaudy paper!
C. Not so God’s Gift. No: the text says, “she wrapped Him in cloths.”
1. God’s Gift was wrapped in cast off rags, strips of old cloth; not warm, snug, cozy jammies, not a nice blue receiving blanket. But there is significance here:
a. It speaks of poverty: 2 Corinthians 8:9 “for you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.”
b. It speaks of humility: Philippians 2:5-8 “Christ Jesus, Who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
c. It speaks of simplicity: Isaiah 53:2 “for He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.”
2. There was nothing ornate, distinguished, or fancy about His birth though it was the most significant birth ever!
D. Because He was born to such low estate, He would have understood the situation of a little boy who wanted to go to church. Now he was 75 years old. He hadn’t been in a church building for 65 years. His excuse for staying away related to a childhood experience. He was one of many children in an impoverished family. When he was about ten, some neighbors invited him to church and he enjoyed it very much. But, after class was over, the teacher took him aside and said, “Son, please don’t come again dressed as you are now. We want to look our best when we come worship the Lord.” He stood in his ragged, unpatched overalls, looked at his bare, dirty feet and said, “No ma’am, I won’t, ever!” And he never did until the day of his funeral. Making too much out of how the boy looked, the teacher contributed to his lost condition. Because Jesus was wrapped in cloths, plain and unadorned, He would have understood and treated him differently.