Advent Musings: what a new watch and a pile of Legos taught me about the gift of Jesus

I still remember the Christmas when I got my first real watch.

For some reason, I’d always wanted a watch…not the cheap digital watches you got in Happy Meals back in the 80’s, but a real analog watch.

So, it’s Christmas morning back in 1980something, and I open a gift that’s a small, square plastic container with the word “Timex” on it.

I can’t see the watch at this point, and I have no idea what “Timex” means, so I just kind of set it aside and start playing with some new Legos.

I still had no idea that the watch I’d really wanted was sitting inside that plastic container, buried under all the wrapping paper next to me.

At the time, I actually thought I had been given a useless plastic box.

Imagine waking up on Christmas morning and opening the one gift that you’ve always wanted…

Just think for a second of the feelings that you would have the moment you realize that’s what it is…

Excitement.

Joy.

Anticipation.

Gratitude.

Love for the giver.

And the list goes on…

Now imagine that you open that same gift, but you have no idea that it’s the gift. What would you do?

All the feelings of excitement and joy would be replaced with feelings of…

Indifference.

Apathy.

Disappointment.

Distraction…

Kind of like me and my Timex watch.

I got what I always wanted, but I let it get buried under a heap of wrapping paper, because I had no idea that there was a real analog watch inside that plastic box.

So, what does this all have to do with Advent and the Christmas season?

Jesus is the gift that we’ve always wanted.

Receiving him is the only way that we will ever find true peace and joy and hope and meaning in this broken world we live in.

But, the problem for many is that Jesus isn’t the gift they expected.

Ever since Jesus was born in an out-building in a small village instead of a palace in a large city, he’s been marginalized and misunderstood by the masses.

And so instead of remembering Jesus’ birth with feelings of excitement and joy and anticipation and gratitude, we bury the meaning of Christmas under a pile of wrapping paper.

Instead of accepting the greatest gift any of us could ever want, many in our culture today look at Jesus at Christmas time with indifference, apathy, and disappointment.

And, even for those who have already received the gift of Jesus, there is still the danger of distraction…

We can all get easily distracted by the holidays, and then forget what we’re actually supposed to be celebrating in the first place.

So, what about you?

This Advent season are you experiencing the joy of receiving the gift of Jesus and celebrating him?

Or, are you being distracted by everything else around you…

And settling for that pile of Legos?

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