I love Christmas. I even enjoy some of the mall madness and shopping frenzy. Like many others though, most of my love of the season is tied to time spent with family. Memories of candlelit Christmas Eve services, the Open house my Mom and Dad would host for everyone we knew. Watching for the Santa report on the news and playing LIFE with my brother and sister, counting the minutes until 5:30a.m, wondering if that was late enough to start yelling for Mom and Dad.
But among the parties, craft fairs, and Christmas programs – busyness threatens our sanity and ability to sit and contemplate the miraculous gift Christmas brings. I was reminded of that earlier this week as the kids and I sat down for some much needed Bible time.
We read from Isaiah 9:2,6Who is this King of Glory? The baby Jesus, the risen Savior! We talked about darkness and light and what it would be like to have Jesus, in the flesh, as our ruler here on earth now – a true Prince of Peace. And I continued to wonder aloud what it would be like if Jesus returned to take us to heaven this Christmas? Wouldn’t that be the best Christmas ever!
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the shadow of death a light has dawned.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be upon this shoulders. And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
That’s where the kids turned on me. At first the resistance was about missing the fun of opening presents and enjoying their gifts, but I soon realized it was something a little deeper. As I pursued the subject their responses amazed me, “But if Jesus came back on Christmas what would happen to our Aunts and Uncles and friends who don’t know Jesus? That would be the worst Christmas ever!”
What perspective. I hadn’t been thinking about it outside of my own circumstances. But God did think about each of us…even in our sinful state God so loved the world that He gave the gift of his son. Jesus, not concerned about his own glory humbled himself to become a baby in a manger, God with us, a man betrayed and crucified on a cross. Jesus, who defeated death and offers us victory over death through the covenant of His shed blood, is our reason for celebrating. This Christmas as we remember the gift that was given to us with such sacrifice may we be bold to share the gift of Life with those we love.