Remember inspecting the packages underneath the tree? You may not have been old enough to read, but you could recognize your own name.

There it was: mixed in with other presents, was one wrapped just for you. And there was your name. You knew that on Christmas morning, you would open that present, and it would be yours.

This morning I passed the early glow of the Christmas tree and noticed a little girl at its base, inspecting the presents. She has read every label numerous times and knows exactly which ones she will open first on Christmas morning.

It reminds me of something the prophet Isaiah said long before Jesus was born:

“For to us a child is born,
To us a son is given;
And the government shall be upon his shoulder,
And his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

“Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.”
(Isaiah 9:6-7)

Did you hear the promise? To us. To me. To you.

To you a Child is born.

To you a Son is given.

You have a present under the tree, wrapped with care and addressed with love. This Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace offers Himself to you. There is no end to His power, no halting of His peace, and His justice and righteousness have no expiration.

As you go through your busy day today, rejoice in the personal, individual, single and focused gift of Jesus.

Let’s peek back at the prophecy from Isaiah: “The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.”

Zeal is a good word that doesn’t make its way into our sentences on most days. It conveys ardent love, intense fervor, and passion. What is it again that the zeal of the Lord will do? Among other eternity-shaping things, the zeal of the Lord will give the Son to you. What a present!

Open your hands to receive the gift of Jesus this season! Be stunned with the good news of great joy, and join the angels in their song of worship: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased” (Luke 2:14).

Allow amazement to wash over you one more time—amazement that a tiny baby born long ago was the fulfillment of promise and the pinnacle of prophecy. Jesus was and is our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.

Here is the present wrapped up under the tree for you today: He “has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:12b-14). That’s a pretty amazing Christmas present.

Anticipation, expectation, and wanting are part and parcel of this Christmas season. If we’re honest with ourselves, we cannot not want, deeply and desperately. This trust-filled purity of wishing and wanting, when directed toward the Jesus who can fulfill our inmost desires, is holy and beautiful.

Ask yourself today: “I wonder what I am going to get for Christmas.” Fill your day with holy expectation. Want to want Jesus. Long to be filled with longing. The very best present possible is wrapped in love and ready for you: Christ Himself.

Christmastime Is for Conversations!

Family and friends gathering over the holidays are the perfect opportunities to build relationships!

Join the Presently Engaged mailing list and receive my friendly 60-question “Conversations for Christmas” guide. You’ll have access to both the e-book and a mobile-friendly version so you can access question prompts on the go this holiday season! Curate deep, intentional conversations with the relationships that matter!

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