It must have been a busy day at the sign shop. On a mission from the missus, I’m standing in front of a mountain of wrapping paper. Every kind, every color, every design ever made. Floor to ceiling. Could only be stacked that high with a tow motor.

And then there’s the hand-written sign stuck with scotch tape at back-breaking level. And by the way, there’s a dump truck load of that tape on the next aisle in a box big enough for a family of four to get lost if they were to fall into it.

But back to the sign, as if one would need a sign to state the obvious, one misplaced keystroke made a world of difference. It’s obvious that the busy-ness of the holiday shopping business prevented any proofreading. But the proof was in the reading, if you’ll pardon the pun.

WARPPING PAPER! What kind of gifts would be wrapped in this kind of paper? The human mind is an amazing organ. And for some of us, it’s occasionally described in the same manner – warped! But it was as if the misspelled sign was placed there, in that particular place for this particular person to see.

To take a mental trip backwards to another place. Another person. Another gift. Another kind of wrapping. An angel of the Lord woke up some shepherds working the graveyard shift and gave them a sign. A sign that’s been talked about for over 2,000 years. A sign that spoke of the greatest Gift the world has ever known or will ever know.

And how that Gift would be wrapped. In swaddling cloths. First word out of your mind – ‘What are swaddling cloths?’ This could possibly be from the oft-described warped mind of an old writer working the graveyard shift – but my first word is L-O-V-E. 

The Giver of that first and greatest Gift wrapped His Present to us in something that could easily be understood by a bunch of old guys camped out in a field at night watching over their flock. No slick wrapping paper with snowflakes. Or Frosty the snowman. Just LOVE. 

What are you wrapping your gifts in this CHRIST-mas? Here’s your sign.

Luke 2:12 – and this shall be a sign unto you. You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger.