He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.” (John 1:11 NIV).

Even though we hear the nativity stories, and even though we have the real joy of giving and receiving presents, we can leave God’s great gift to the world unopened.

For centuries people had been seeking a greater knowledge of the nature of God and his purpose for humankind. God revealed aspects of his character and purpose through the prophets, psalmists, and wise men of Israel, bit by bit, as they were able to understand.   Then in Jesus “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14).

When Jesus came and people got to know him.  They discovered in him a power such as they had never known before. John put it succinctly: “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (v. 12).

This is an incredible gift, greater than any other gift one can receive.  Do not leave this gift unopened because of familiarity with or admiration for the beautifully wrapped package. This redemptive power of God is at work still, and streams of grace flow from the life and continuing Spirit of Jesus Christ.

Of course, we do not have to accept this gift, that is Christ. We can refuse him just as many people did during the days he walked amongst them.