Yesterday I received this small plate from a good friend, a person that works with my wife. It’s about 5 inches across. It’s from a trip to the Holy Land about 20 years ago. She looks at it from year to year but hasn’t had anyone to give it to. Until this year, to me.
I, being me, cried.
That was an over-response for the situation, because this was an office party (okay, only four people in the office, but still). However, the story that is in the picture is its own kind of over-response.
A bunch of people come to hear Jesus teach, not knowing how long He’s planning to talk. All day is the answer. They have little food. However, one boy brought a small lunch of two fish and five loaves of bread. Probably like two smelt and 5 hot cross buns – nothing big.
There are 5000 men and, because it was a family affair, their families came too, so we’re talking 10-15000 people. Jesus thanks His Dad for the food and starts to break it up and hand it out. Everyone gets fed to full and there are 12 baskets, big baskets full. One for each of the 12 disciples to carry, heavy enough to remind them of what they had thought when there was only one small lunch of 5 loaves and 2 fishes.
I didn’t deserve the plate (I don’t work in the office!), but Irene is a giver. I don’t deserve anything for Christmas, but that’s why they are called gifts. But then, I don’t deserve Christmas.
However, the God who was extravagent in feeding a crowd of 15,000 people was even more extravagant when showing His love. Rather than just sending a rescue party, He did it Himself. Rather than just setting the rules, He put on a human body and walked with us and died for us and rose to save us and lives in us.
All of which is why I cried when I got this plate. It was so cool to get a gift about a gift from the Giver.
Merry Christmas all.