Gift #747: The Wondrous Gift is Given

Christmas cards are done and in the mail!  Earlier last week I had a pile of supplies that looked like this.

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By the end of the week, the pile had been morphed into assembled card fronts.

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And by yesterday the insides were done.

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Today I breathed a great sigh of relief and while I sipped hot chocolate, I made solemn promises that next year will be different (It won’t.  I’ve been making these promises for years).

The paper and quote are from Stampin Up.  The nativity die cut is from Taylored Expressions.  I love using phrases from Christmas carols in my cards and the one I used on this year’s card is one of my favorites.  “How silently, how silently the wondrous gift is given”.  The next line says “So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of His heaven.”  “O Little Town of Bethlehem” is a rich and beautiful song, somewhat neglected in our usual Christmas line-up.

I’ve spent a lot of time mulling the phrase over in my mind, thinking about how God comes to earth.  That night in Bethlehem was in many respects just another night.  People were crowded, hungry, tired – eager to enjoy the comforts of warm food and bed.  As the town falls into an exhausted sleep, the King of Kings enters this world to an audience of stabled animals.  The first smells God in the flesh inhales are common odors –  of animals, hay, sweat – so common most don’t even notice them.   The first faces He sees are those of his mother and maybe a curious donkey.  He feels straw, hay, wood, cloth, his mother’s arms.  Everything about this story is completely common – the setting, the town, the act of childbirth, the young baby taking his first cries and first sleep – all this the world has seen a million times over.  And yet, for all it’s ordinariness, it’s full of miracles because it is full of life.  But the world had gotten so used to it all it didn’t even notice, and heaven itself had to come down and redirect the attention of shepherds to  the common.  And nestled within the mundane framework of their lives, they found  the Glorious Gift.  God in Flesh, the greatest Ordinary Miracle, had come.  And a weary world received the Blessing of Heaven in the earthiest of places.

Blessings to you,

Sarah

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