With Christmas close at hand, we remember the birth of a little boy long ago that literally changed the course of human destiny forever.
I try and pause to reflect about the implications of this Greatest Gift, but for me, my finite mind fails to grasp the complexity and magnitude of what that humble intrusion ignited in that far away, backward little village called Bethlehem centuries ago. What does it really mean for you and for me? The answer: A little Boy was sent to fulfill His destiny so we can fulfill ours.
Celebrating with family and friends during this festive time gives us moments to capture the magic and beauty of Christmas. As I get older, I find myself becoming more nostalgic, revisiting memories of days gone by and fondly remembering family gatherings---especially around the holidays. Spending time to quietly think back to Christmases past gives me comfort and warms my heart.
Maybe some of your traditions during this expectant season take you back as well. Holding on to these special occasions I hope will give you peace. A peace in knowing that everything is unfolding as it should. A contentment that softly says that God is still in complete control of everything and everyone. And I hope, an important sense of urgency that should compel all of us to consider and acknowledge the why of His birth. Christmas is certainly a reason to celebrate a very special birthday—that of Christ coming into the world for us.
Isaiah 7:14 states, “Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” Isaiah prophetically spoke these words about our Savior coming into the world more than 700 years before His birth! It was not accidental that the prophet Isaiah uttered that statement. Equally impressive is that God made it come to pass at a very specific time and place. God willed it to be and it was. Yet even today, these jubilant words ring with exciting news for everyone who would call on Jesus' name.
It is easy to forget the Who and the why of Christmas. It is easy for the real and pivotal reason for this annual occurrence to get lost in the shuffle of standing in lines, celebrating and purchasing, feasting and attending special programs.
I encourage you to take time to unpack your Gift this year so Jesus can increasingly resonate in your life. As you open the Gift, may the Lord forever enlarge your capacity to be grateful and to love yourself and your neighbor...the same way Jesus has always done for everyone on earth.
Merry Christmas from our family to yours!