I appreciate having beautifully decorated Christmas presents. However, I remember a year when my son wrapped his gifts to us in brown package paper, sealed them with duct tape, and wrote our names in marker on the outside. What was inside was great, but I didn’t want him to put the wrapped presents under the tree. (He so enjoyed upsetting traditions and his mom!)
Two thousand years ago God gave the gift of Jesus, but he too came wrapped in brown paper. The Jews expected him to come as their King dressed in royal robes, restoring the Jewish kingdom. Instead, they received a baby born in a shelter for animals, a poor itinerant preacher who died at the hands of the Roman oppressors. They missed the gift, not looking beyond its plain packaging.