The Unopened Gift
By Tammy Hensel
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.”—Ephesians 2:8 (NASB)
It looked so lonely sitting there under the tree—unopened, unwanted. My twelve-year old mind just couldn’t understand it. How could anyone not want a Christmas gift?
A few hours earlier the room teemed with much anticipated activity. Almost every Christmas Eve during my childhood my family gathered at the home of one of my grandmother’s ten siblings. We kids played “Santa’s helpers,” as we read the nametags and distributed the gifts.
“Here, Grandmother, another one for you. It’s so pretty.” I admired the beautifully wrapped package as I offered it to her. To my surprise, she refused to take it.
“Who’s it from? I already have my name gift.” She checked the tag. “Edna, you aren’t supposed to give me anything this year.” Many years before, my grandmother’s family agreed to draw names for giving among the eleven siblings. However, once in a while, not everyone obeyed the rules. Edna told her the gift was for her, but my grandmother was adamant.
“Put it back under the tree.”
I couldn’t believe my ears. Sadly, I obeyed. Once in a while, someone who hadn’t heard the exchange picked up the gift and again tried to give it to Grandmother. Each time she refused and ordered it back under the tree. When the party ended and we walked out the door, I turned back to look once more at the unopened gift, sitting so beautifully under the Christmas tree.
Think of the above story as a parable. God offers a beautiful gift to all mankind—eternal life with Him. Have you opened it? Or is it still sitting under your Christmas tree?