And so, it has come – Christmas Eve! Wherever you are in the world and whatever you may be experiencing, on this eve we celebrate all the Gifts of Christmas because of a God who loved us so much that He took on human flesh and was born as a baby in a manger in a barn to show us who He is. He also came to experience what we experience and show us a way amid the challenges on the earth that faced Him and continue to face humankind to this present hour.
If you have followed this Christmas series that began December first, you know that we have looked at some of the gifts we may not think of first when the Christmas season of Advent comes. We routinely think of joy, peace, hope, and love and the story of the shepherds who were stunned when angels filled the night sky to announce the Christ had been born. We see the nativity scenes here and there or on our own mantels and recall the characters depicted there and of course the wise men that came later as they followed the star in the heavens. The story is rich with memories for many of us, but I sensed the Lord would have us look a bit deeper and consider the story behind that story in the series.
If you missed any of the Gifts of Christmas, you could go back and consider them when there is a quiet moment, and the Lord allows you to come closer to Him. We look at 10 gifts prior to this one today – sacrifice, anticipation, promise, wonder, assurance, rest, good news, light, revelation, and truth.
That, of course, is just a small sample of the gifts that came because Christ came and to choose Immanuel today may be obvious, but it reminds us that God is with us. No matter what we are facing at this moment, not matter what disappointment, what challenge, or what loss, He came to show us He is with us. No matter how dark the world or grim the headlines, He has not abandoned us. If we listen and stop long enough, we can sense Him in so many ways and places even in a pandemic, in the midst of tragedies of all kinds.
Some may see that as small comfort during hard painful times, but maybe they do not yet know the depth of God’s love or how He wanted us to be reunited with Him after the mistake in the Garden. Christmas was the beginning of that, and Easter sealed it for those who would believe. But He was not and is not finished yet because He promised before He ascended into heaven that He would come back again and take us with Him and there we would not experience pain or sorrow, hunger, or loneliness.
I hope something I was led to write has brought you a fresh glimpse of the God who came.
May God bless you and meet you this day and night and when you awaken on Christmas morning, may you find Him as the center of your heart.
From my heart to yours, Merry Christmas!