The best Christmas gift

Christ comes as a gift into your life,
but he doesn’t come
wrapped in shiny paper and ribbons
and you can’t say
“Isn’t that nice,”
as you quickly slide him under the bed
or store him in a dark closet,
thinking that someday you’ll find a place
to put him.

Christ is a gift that you can’t
pack away neatly in a box,
bringing him out for special holidays
like Christmas or Easter.
There isn’t a place in the house
where you can put him and leave him;
this gift is always at your side.

The gift of Christ
is one of those noisy Christmas gifts,
whispering in the night,
crying out during the day at unexpected times.
“Do you love me?” he whispers.
“Feed my sheep!” he cries.

Where do you put this gift?
In your heart. In your mind. In your soul.
Pretty soon this gift
has taken over your life.
“I had no idea how time-consuming this
gift would be,” you’ll say,
and sometimes you’ll wonder
about the “No return” policy.

But mostly, you will fall in love with
the gift of Christ.
You will lose yourself in this gift.
You will find yourself in this gift.
About this gift you will say
from the deepest part of your soul,
“Thank you…this is just what I always
wanted.”

Carol Penner is pastor of First Mennonite Church, Vineland, Ont.

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