We saw that God is not very good at gift wrapping. The most precious gift of all time was put in a box that the animals had been eating out of. The baby in a manger.
But it must have been deliberate. God knew exactly how he wanted to package his parcel. The treasure was never put in glitzy wrapping so that we would not be distracted by anything trivial like a shiny bow. And he continues to package the gift of the good news of Christmas in a similar way.
The baby is not being born in a stable anymore. But Paul tells us Christ is being formed in us (Gal 4:19). Speaking of the treasure of the life of God’s Son, he writes that this treasure is now wrapped up in jars of clay (2Cor 4:7). So here we are, 2000 years later, and God has still not gone to any gift-wrapping classes! He has simply moved on from used wooden boxes to cracked clay pots.
And just as many in Bethlehem were put off the scent in their search for the Messiah by the fact that the baby was in a manger, so today there are those who are put off the Messiah by the fact that his life comes to them in mangy Christians. But God has always been intentional in his packaging.
Paul tells us why God now chooses clay pot gift wrapping. It is, he says, so that “everyone can see that the glorious power is from God and is not our own” (2Cor 4:7 – NLT). Christians are now the gift-wrapping in which he presents the gift of his Son to a needy world. But he won’t let us get too excited about our own importance in the task. No pretty ribbons and bows. Just cracked pots.