By Jill Briscoe       

Many of God’s people throughout time thought about God’s special gift, and offered their own gifts in thankful response. These gifts are not boxes decorated with tinsel, silver bells, and Father Christmases, but unique contributions to the tremendous story of God’s special gift. 

As an elderly Elizabeth was thinking about those promised gifts, God was busy wrapping His Christmas present form heaven in human flesh. Christmas came early for Elizabeth. When Elizabeth welcomed her cousin Mary, the outcast, ostracized, pregnant young girl, God pulled back the wrapping paper just a little, to let her have a peek at His present. Elizabeth’s own baby leaped in her womb for joy, and she was filled with the Holy Spirit, and said: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy” (Lk. 1:42-44). 

Encouraged and strengthened by her cousin, Mary also prepared. She believed the anointed One must come and soon, and by her holy character made ready to acknowledge her Messiah and yield her allegiance to Him. God couldn’t have a Christmas without a Mary. He needed more than just a devout person, someone who attended synagogue and said her prayers. The child Christ needed a body to live in!

Mary offered the gift of her body. She whispered, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word” (Lk. 1:38, KJV). 

Christmas is a season of giving. Elizabeth gave her praise. Mary gave her body. Joseph gave his reputation.The innkeeper gave his stable.  And God gave His Son.

Take a few moments during this Christmas time to thank God for the gift of His son and the promise of His presence with you!

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