Crown, Cradle, and Cross

Crown, Cradle, and Cross

In his new book Because of Bethlehem, Max Lucado urges you to rekindle your connection to the Christ of Christmas; to lay down your endless Christmas to-do list and receive what Jesus has already done; and, to heal your heartache by embracing the God who is always near you, always for you, and always in you..  

Read below for an excerpt from chapter 10…

The large box sat unexplained in the corner of our living room for weeks. It appeared soon after Thanksgiving and sat untouched throughout most of December. It was as tall as I was, which isn’t saying much. I was only four years old. Unlike the other boxes near the Christmas tree, this one bore no glistening wrapping paper or shiny ribbons. It displayed no name, neither of giver nor receiver. It was taped shut, tightly shut, or my brother and I would have opened it. All we could do was ask about it.

Mom had no explanation. She seemed unimpressed. “Just something your dad bought for Christmas.” If anything, she assumed Dad used Christmas as an excuse to buy himself a gift. He’d always wanted an outboard motor to mount on a fishing boat. Did the box contain one?

On Christmas morning while my older sisters opened gifts and my brother and I scampered about playing with our new toys, my mom noticed the still-unopened gorilla of a box.

“Jack,” she said, “aren’t you going to open the big present?”

Dad could no more keep a straight face than he could walk to the moon on a moonbeam. He began to smile, his eyebrows arched like little rainbows, and he looked at her with a Santa sort of twinkle. “That gift isn’t for me; it’s for you.”

My brother and I stopped and looked. Dad winked at us. We looked at Mom. She was looking at Dad. We knew something fun was about to happen. Mom stepped toward the box. Dad grabbed the 8-millimeter camera, and we kids scurried over.

Mom pried open the top of the nondescript, unaddressed box. She reached in and pulled out nothing but tissue paper. One armful after another.

A remarkable gift can arrive in an unremarkable package. One did in Bethlehem.


This is an excerpt from Because of Bethlehem written by Max Lucado, to view more about this book along with our entire Max Lucado Collection, click here. To read an exclusive Q&A with Max Lucado, click here.

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