Jesus’s life began and ended in earthly fetters. Who better to understand ours?
Jeff Peabody – November 27, 2018 – CHRISTIANITY TODAY
E. B. White once lamented, “To perceive Christmas through its wrapping becomes more difficult with every year.”
I wouldn’t want to argue with the beloved author of Charlotte’s Web. Yet I have an affection for Christmas wrapping precisely because it helped me perceive Jesus through a fresh lens.
Several years ago, I decided to write a daily Christmas post on our church blog during the month of December. Saying something fresh about the Nativity every single day had me reaching far and wide for ideas. In my grasping, for one entry I decided to tackle the theology of Christmas wrapping. I vaguely recalled that some cultures use cloth instead of paper to wrap gifts, which sounded intriguing.
So, I dug in. That’s when I first learned about the ancient Japanese art of furoshiki. Feudal lords needed a practical way to bundle their belongings while using the shogun bathhouse, and they displayed their family crests on the outer cloth to identify whose was whose.
Over the centuries, people adapted furoshiki into a beautiful means of presenting gifts. The cloth is folded and tied in deliberate, creative ways, inviting the recipient to pause and appreciate the thoughtfulness behind the packaging before opening it.