2 Corinthians 9:15 – Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift. (KJV)
Luke 2:16 – And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. (KJV)
Recently, while dropping off a couple of bags of coats and clothing at a thrift store that services the homeless and underprivileged, I thought I'd just take a look around, as they always have great things.
As I turned away from the counter, there, on the right, in a corner, opposite the regular racks of clothing, odds and ends, books and furniture, was a whole different world. The entire corner was decorated and dedicated to things both religious and secular related to Christmas. There were shelves and shelves of beautiful "gently used" treasures at wonderful prices.
A snow globe with three little children in snowsuits played Ave Maria as the "snow" sifted down around them, upon turning it upside down for winding. Three angels on a music box played We Wish You A Merry Christmas. Tiny little lights lit up an otherwise ordinary imitation fir branch wreath when plugged in. Christmas plates, glasses, and mugs shared the shelves with crèches of all sizes and styles. Angels adorned the tree, sat atop a wreath, and stood in a circle of glass constructed to hold a candle. I stood in awe of everything around me.
Most prominent prior to all these treasures was a life-size crèche, where people could leave their gifts for the food bank.
The scene I encountered echoes what that very first Christmas night might have been like for the shepherds following the angel's instructions and the wise men following a bright star, perhaps expecting one thing and finding quite another. Upon coming to a stable, where one would expect to find animals, there, in a corner, they found a crèche, with God's greatest gift to the world, and a place in which to leave the gifts they brought. They, too, must have stood in awe of everything around them.
Prayer: We give thanks to You, our Father in heaven, for Your gift to us on that first night, and for the treasures You have given us through Him. May we always keep that "Christmas corner" awe in our hearts, our minds, and our daily deeds. Through Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.