Wrapping Paper

Steve Skiver   -  

Which is more valuable in the long run: the gift or the wrapping paper? I’m sure we have all gone through the gift/wrapping stages of development. First there is the initial stage: Wow, someone gave me a gift! I can’t wait to get it open and see what it is! The next stage is restraint; Look at all the gifts, how nice they all look, I can’t wait until it is time to open them! There comes a time when the situation reverses and you get to give a gift and decide how to present it: Professionally wrapped with a beautiful bow? Last year’s Christmas wrapping paper? Newspaper? In a fancy bag stuffed with tissue paper? Or hand it directly to the recipient? There are quite a number of decisions and choices in giving the gift as well as presenting the gift. How about the box in a box in a box in a box in a box in a box before you get to the gift?



That brings us back to the initial question: the gift or the wrapping paper? Or the corollary question, is the wrapping paper part of the gift? Thought goes into the gift and  thought goes into the wrapping paper.  Does the gift receiver comprehend the full intension of the gift giver? Why was the gift wrapped in used gun range target practice paper? That silver paper is so beautiful, I will carefully unwrap it, smooth it out, and save it. Wait, you’re giving me a gift and you didn’t even wrap it? Take it, wrap it, and bring it back.



Our Triune God is the ultimate gift giver! In the explanation to the Apostles Creed, Martin Luther writes:

He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason and all my senses, and still takes care of them. He also gives me clothing and shoes, food and drink, house and home, wife and children, land, animals, and all I have. He richly and daily provides me with all that I need to support this body and life.

My Lord… has redeemed me, a lost and condemned person, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil; not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death, that I may be His own and live under Him in His kingdom.

The Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith. In the same way He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church He daily and richly forgives all my sins and the sins of all believers.


How does the ultimate Gift Giver wrap his gifts? With simple water in Baptism. With simple bread and wine in the Eucharist. His Word proclaimed through simple people. The wrapping paper is part of His good gifts. It took me a long time to understand this.  At times I didn’t like the wrapping paper, so I put the gift on a shelf. In effect, I said to the Gift Giver: Thanks for the gift, take it home and rewrap it and bring it back. I wonder if that gift in that wrapping paper I didn’t like was humbly received by someone else. I also wonder if the gift given in a wrapping paper that I liked was a lesser gift than the initial gift.


Solomon writes in Ecclesiastics:

God has made everything beautiful in its time. Yes, he has also put eternity in their hearts, yet it is not possible for man to understand the work that God has done from beginning to end.

I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and enjoy good things while they live. Also, when anyone eats, drinks, and experiences the good things that his hard work leads to—this is God’s gift.

I know that everything God does will last forever. Nothing can be added to it or taken away from it. God acts so that people will fear him.


From <https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ecclesiastes%203&version=EHV>




Consider my screed a gift given by someone not too tightly wrapped.








Trust the Promises,



Steve Skiver