The Gift Tag that Tells a Story

This week a good friend of mine will celebrate a birthday. In anticipation, I
selected a special present for her. Yesterday, I went to the basement to sort through my
stash of gift wrapping supplies to put the final touches upon the present. Brightly-
colored paper, complimentary-toned ribbon, and the exact-sized box – all the components
I needed were stored in my closet to be called upon as the occasion arose.
I neatly arranged tissue paper inside the gift box, folded the present to maximize
the visual appeal, and then placed the lid on the box. There, attached to the box top, was
a gift tag signifying this box had been previously used, folded, and stored away to be
used again. The tag told a story. This box had contained a gift for my husband from my
mother. The name was his; the penmanship was hers.
I was suddenly overcome with emotion. Mom passed away almost eight years
ago, but there was something about viewing her handwriting that seemed to span the
distance and cause me to feel warmly close to her again. I stopped wrapping and sat
down at the kitchen table to reflect. My mind was flooded with recollections of good
days at home, fun seasons of vacations, special holidays with her cooking. The
reminiscences were a wonderful present; and there, stored in the closet of my memories,
were all the components that I needed to beautify the gift.
In the weeks to come we will be celebrating the Easter season. Soon it will be
Palm Sunday. It is a special day based upon the biblical event of Jesus’ processional
entry into Jerusalem, which was declaring His intentions to set up His kingdom.
Between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, Jesus went from the object of an expectant
crowd’s adoration to the target of an angry throng’s animosity. His trial, crucifixion, and
death seemed to annul the promises and rescind the offer of his gift. His enemies reveled
in their triumph, His disciples feared for their own safety, His loved ones languished in
grief. The promise of Palm Sunday turned into the disillusionment of Good Friday. It
appeared that the cross put to death the gift.
But Easter held a grand surprise. The disciples arrived at His tomb to find it
empty. Jesus was alive. He was not alive like He had been before – He was not revived
to human, earthly life. He was resurrected to immortality. He proved that life did
continue beyond this earthly realm. He offered to us the amazing gift of eternal life. His
endless life guaranteed that all He promised, including His kingdom, are precious gifts
that He plans to bestow upon us.
This week, you can discover the gift tag attached to the present given long ago.
The tag tells a story of grace given by Christ. The name on the tag is yours; the
penmanship is His. Stored away in the closet of the pages of scripture are all the
component parts that were needed to wrap this gift of God’s love. Read it. You might
find yourself suddenly overcome with emotion. Even though the deed was done several
thousand years ago, there might be something about reading the story again that will span
the distance and cause you to feel warmly close to Him.

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