2 Cor. 4:7 ­– “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves.”

Lately I’ve enjoyed the brown packages that have been showing up on my doorstep. My heart leaps with delight and curiosity. I recently opened a box that was full of six other boxes! Oh, what fun! Under each lid was a new surprise, different from the last. From plain brown box to Christmas surprise, the delight of the gift is as much in the process of discovery as it is in the acquisition.

The passage above from Paul’s letter to the Corinthian believers speaks to God’s gift wrapping technique. We are the plain brown box into which God has deposited His glory. He hides the best gifts in the plainest wrappers. The discordance between our brown wrapper and the glory that’s inside only makes that glory more fascinating. The convenience of great treasure in the most mundane places sets our mind whirling with questions.

God came packaged in flesh, an unassuming vessel, a plain brown wrapper. He became vulnerable to us in a whole new way—accessible to the ultimate degree. His plain exterior made the glory that came from Him shine all the brighter. God has hidden great glories in plain sight so that the most childlike can find them.

It was in the night hours that the shepherds were given the news of a new Savior, and in the night hours the magi were able to see and follow the signs in the stars. In the dark places, the Light of God shines out. He wraps His gifts in the most unusual ways: fire in desert brush, a king dressed as a shepherd boy, God wrapped in clothes and lying in a manger. God comes to us to be discovered, enjoyed, delighted in and invited in.

As you are out this season, finding gifts, wrapping gifts and giving gifts, let the kindness and love within you show through. Let others delight in the warmth and love of God expressed through you. I pray that they will discover a treasure hidden in you, wrapped in plain clothes and ready to be received into their own hearts.