I readily confess that I am a Christmas junkie. I also have no desire to be delivered from my addiction. Christmas has enthralled my soul for as long as I can remember. Everything about Christmas is special to me. Trees, presents, decorations, special food, and family gatherings hold special memories. But above all else, THE STORY itself speaks to me, more than one day a year. It is filled with insights that have made a significant impact on my life and ministry.
God comes to us, when we can’t get to him. Matthew and Luke tell us what happened. John is the one who tells us most clearly the significance.That first Christmas, “God moved into our neighborhood.” When we couldn’t get to Him, He came to us. His strength offsets our weakness. His righteousness swaddles our sin covered lives. His life, light and love clearly reveals the Father to us. The reality of The Incarnation is comfort to me everyday.
Initial disappointments sometime lead to unexpected blessings. Three wise men left ancient Persia in hopes of finding a king. Imagine their surprise when they spent weeks following a star, only to find a stable. Yet they discovered that first impressions can often be deceiving. Before they left, they worshipped and presented gifts to the King of Kings. I have learned not to be too quick to draw conclusions in what appear to be troubling circumstances. A little patience often pays rich dividends.
The Lord loves to use ordinary people. A girl named Mary and a guy named Joe are at the heart of the Christmas story. An unnamed innkeeper inadvertently provided the only space he had available to the couple. Humble shepherds were among the first people to meet the Savior of the world. Everyday I thank God that He was willing to come into the life of an awkward, skinny kid from Texas. I am very grateful that He has been willing to pour His blessings through my ordinary earthen vessel of a life.
Great endings often start with simple beginnings. The baby in the manger grew up to be the Son Of Man who carried a cross and rose from the dead for all of us. Every great adventure begins with a single step. The manger, cross, empty tomb and throne remind me that the eventual destination is worth the journey.
My prayer is that you will open your heart wide to the wonders of Christmas this year. May you, your family and the church where you serve be forever impacted by the glory of Christmas!