“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord.” (Luke 2:19)
The story of Christmas is familiar. Many of us can recite verses and sing choruses that recap the holy day without so much as a second thought. It is said that familiarity breeds contempt – so I wonder …..
I wonder and I search my heart. When I sit and search long enough to listen to God’s still small voice, I grapple with the familiar and I groan for the fresh… and I wonder: have I shopped, cleaned, and baked away the season without even bending a knee to worship my Savior? Have I decorated my home, yet failed to focus my heart?
The story of Christmas is the ultimate story of life, of hope, and of freedom. The beautiful and mysterious intersection of humanity’s depravity and Divinity’s provision. A complex invasion of darkness by light. By love; by a love that breathes life and brings beauty ….
In the beginning, love breathed life into the made-from-dust lungs of Adam. Life-giving love. The perfect and complete love of a holy, triune, eternal God who spoke words and created new galaxies; new wonders; new worshipers. All was made so that He might be glorified ….
We, His image bearers, however, are different from all other creation in that we are made to know Him. Personally. To know Love; true, pure, eminent love ….
And then — stains of rebellion brought separation. Rebellion of God’s plan; of His spoken Word, of His will. Human wants and desires rose to rule and our own wills were done instead of God’s: in the garden… in my life… and in yours ….
And though rebellion demands death (Romans 6:23), God’s love pursues us with life-giving power. This love that descended from heaven to earth, came to speak life to death through the grace that was wrapped in swaddling clothes in a humble manger. From the cradle to the cross; Jesus came on a love mission. And that mission? To save us and give us life, abundant and eternal ….
“This is how God showed His love among us; He sent His One and Only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:9-10)
Jesus came upon the no-vacancy scene in Bethlehem to annihilate death so that we who are hopeless without Him might experience true love, forgiveness, and freedom through Him. Full life …. Abundant life …. Beauty to ashes life ….
Childhood gave way to manhood, and at the age of thirty; Jesus made His mission of love known. While in a synagogue in Galilee, He unrolled an ancient scroll and found the place where it is written:
“The spirit of the Lord is on me because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners, and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Then He rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. Can’t you just imagine it: the eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on Him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:14-21)
The true story of Christmas is the story of Jesus. The story of captives being set free, of the blind gaining their sight, of of our stains of rebellion being washed away, washed completely white through His beautiful red blood …
The story of Christmas is the true story of life. Not some fat mythical character squeezing down a fireplace to leave gifts under a tree while little kiddies dream of sugar plums dancing around in their heads. That is a lie; he doesn’t exist ….
We should be sharing the truth with our children, the true story of the gifts, of the kings, of the life of a tiny baby born in a manager that even knows their name, and the story of love …
Today, as we move and meander in the mundane, and as we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the manical pre-Christmas of preparations; I pray that you would join me in being mindful of the real reason for the season. I pray that you be gripped by a fresh and compelling awe for the perfect love that breathes life and brings beauty to our brokenness ….
Let us pray ~
Loving merciful God, how in awe I am of You when I consider Your ways. You are amazing. My heart is overwhelmed with gratitude for Your love for me, for a world that is so lost. Help me to walk in responsive awareness of your grace this day. Help me to be mindful of others and share with them the beautiful story of your unfailing love for them, and to express that love in some small way with all that You should send across my path. May You be glorified through me today as I seek to do Your will and I give You all the honor, and all the praise in Jesus name, Amen …..