by Tim Howard
If you’ve ever opened a present at Christmas and discovered it was broken, you know what disappointment feels like. As my wife opened a beautifully wrapped box this past Christmas, she loved what she saw until it was removed from the box. The gift I purchased had inadvertently been broken in transit.
In the Christmas season we can get so caught up in the ‘tinsel’ that we forget the ‘tension’ and brokenness that is experienced in many homes throughout the holiday season. For many, Christmas is not a family or fun time. Pain, loneliness and sorrow abound. You and I live in a world of brokenness. Marriages are breaking up at an unprecedented pace. Broken families are everywhere and our society is experiencing long lasting ramifications as a result – much like the aftershocks that continue long after the earthquake.
Brokenness is a fact of life for all of us and the question is simple. Can anything be done? My reaction to the broken gift was quite different than my wife’s. I immediately decided to throw it away and purchase a new one. From my point of view the decision seemed rational and logical. I knew where we could buy another gift just like that one broken and we had the financial resources to do so. We might even have found it on sale the day after Christmas! My wife’s response, however, was not quite so rash. She carefully surveyed my gift to her from every angle for several moments. She studied it as though she were a scientist in search of a cure for a rare disease. Finally, she announced to me with great conviction, “I can fix it.” And she did.
That’s what Jesus came to do and one major reason we celebrate Christmas. In Matthew 1 the Angel told Joseph that Mary would give birth to a son and His name would be called Immanuel – meaning God with us! He came bearing gifts. Just like the Magi brought Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh to Jesus as a statement of worship – God sent His Son with three gifts for us as a statement of His love. He brought the gifts of 1. Salvation. 2. Consolation and 3. Restoration.
He didn’t want to discard or dispose of us but rescue us. John 3:17 reveals He came to save not condemn. That’s what salvation means – One who rescues another who is in need. He loves us, He is with us and He is for us.
It doesn’t stop there, however. He not only rescues us but He brings the gift of consolation. Is 66:13 tells us that He will comfort those are broken, those who have fractured families and those who have crushed spirits.
But wait… there’s a third gift. He offers the gift of restoration. He is able to repair what is broken.
Do you remember the little nursery rhyme? “Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the King's horses, And all the King's men couldn’t put Humpty together again!” Well… the King of all Kings can restore anything and that’s why Christmas is “Merry” Christmas.
As you open gifts this season remember God gave us the greatest gift of all. JESUS! And Jesus brought us the gifts of Salvation, Consolation and Restoration.