The gift is the boy.
We miss the gift, the gift is a confusion to us, a source of irritation, something that that we don’t understand, something that vexes us, something that we rarely appreciate, and it is the boy.
I love the fact that he comes from Hamilton, attends Townhill Primary, and I also love the fact that in real life his name is Lewis.
One of the great gifts of this nativity play and the shows that are on at this time of year, is that a group of people who irritate you, who arouse in you great emotions of tiredness and irritation and fury are unveiled for us as the gifts that they are.
And the great message that we have at Christmas, is that the boy is the gift.
And we don’t spot it…
This is the gift, this child, this baby boy.
Sure there is a gift that the boy holds in his hands,
It might be a toaster, a DVD player, a hot water bottle, his and hers matching dressing gowns,
And they will be unwrapped, they will be appreciated,
But the gift, really is something that will stay with them longer than all these things
The gift is the boy.
What they see, these parents through blurred eyes, is the gift,
But what they see above all, what we have delighted in through this whole advert
With his funny expressions, his hope that that wizard magic would speed up time,
What we remember, what they spot in this moment
Is that the gift is the boy
People Sing Songs About Him
People sing songs about him at Christmas time.
Because our deepest emotions, our deepest truths about him
Are found in song
Mary sings, and Zechariah sings and Simeon sings and the angels sing.
They sing, because songs are the place where people are able to rejoice in the gift.
In amongst the busy-ness, the fury, the irritation, they are the place we spot the gift.
This the time of year I receive the most hymn requests,
The place where people are most passionate that their hymns is included,
Because in the hymn people want something
And I suggest it is that they need, want to, at some deep level
Spot the gift.
We Sing Songs
So in song we will sing to the people we love
“you to me are everything, the sweetest song that I could sing, Oh baby”
“All I want for Christmas is you”
“after all, you’re my wonderwall, baby, you’re gonna be the one that saves me.”
“you’re my bridge over troubled water”
“The skies above are blue
My heart was wrapped up in clovers
The night I looked at you”
“You’re just too good to be true
‘t take my eyes off you
You’d be like heaven to touch
I wanna hold you so much
At long last love has arrived
And I thank God I’m alive
You’re just too good to be true
Can’t take my eyes off you”
And we will sing to this baby
“God of god, light of light”
“Veiled in flesh the godhead see, hail the incarnate deity”
“Hail the heaven-born prince of peace, hail the sun of righteousness”
“King of all the world”
“beloved and fair, Christ the Redeemer is here, saviour since thou art born”
“The prince of glory was his name”
“the everlasting Light, and the hopes and fears of all the years”
“heaven and earth shall flee away when he comes to reign”
“Be near me Lord Jesus, I ask you to stay, close by me forever and love me I pray”
The gift this Christmas is the boy.
We sing songs, because somehow song unwraps the gift for us.
He is the friend in every lonely circumstance
He is the wisdom in every confusion
He is the sacrifice to remove every guilt
He is the price to set us free from every tyranny
He is the brother who gives us a new family
The teacher who shines light that we can see
The power who helps us become the best hopes we have for ourselves
He is the prince who has defeated evil
The king who promises justice
The love that will not let us go
The God who alone is worthy of our best
And he is given to us
As the ancient prophet put it
And urges us to see
In our prayers, our allegiance, our intention, our love
Unto us a son is born
Unto us a child is given
This Christmas, we sing
And in our singing we spot the gift
The gift is the boy