December brings in winter and the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season. As the turkey finds it's way into the refrigerator for leftovers, many of us begin to feel the stress and anxiety of the holidays. Decorations may serve as reminders of the parties and buying of presents which fringe into our calendars. Some of us may feel the emotions revolving around loss and loneliness.
As children, this season would bring in the wonder of Nativity Scenes, Hay rides, and time on Santa’s lap as we whispered our greatest wish in his ear. Rudolph and Frosty would remind us that Christmas was just around the corner. Excitement over visits with Grandma and cousins would bubble up as the school semester neared its end. Decorating Christmas cookies would bring a smile to our face and frosting to our nose. Unwrapping gifts under the tree would give us great joy as we tried to guess the contents.
Where does the wonder go as we age?
Can we get it back?
Does our excitement have to wane as we dread the receipt of the American Express bill?
I would like to propose a solution to help us return to the wonder and excitement of our younger years.
His Name is Jesus . . .
We’ve all heard the story of a young Mary and Joseph in Luke 2, who traveled to a little town called Bethlehem to deliver a baby in a manger. In this scripture, we recognize something profound. In verse 13-14, we see where a company of heavenly host are praising God and saying “glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” In verse 16, we see where the shepherds “hurry off to find Mary, Joseph and the baby.” Then they spread the word about their amazed finding. All who heard were amazed at what the shepherds said.
In Matthew 2, we read how the Magi (wise men) came from the east to find the One who was born King of the Jews.
You must understand that during this time, the people represented in this book were thirsty for the Promised Savior. They had heard the prophecies as spoken in the Old Testament and for 400 years had waited for a Word from God. Prophecies which promised that our Savior would “bear our disease” (Isaiah 53:4.) That “In his name the nations will put their hope” (Isaiah 42:1-4.) Promising “your king comes to you” (Zechariah 9:9.) Promising that he would “become the cornerstone” (Psalm 118:22-23.)
The Word was born. This was the Birth of Grace.
John shares with us that The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14.)
The shepherds, the Magi and the people experienced the wonder of the great Gift in their midst.
The birth of Jesus was only the beginning. He opened up the opportunity for us to have a relationship with Him, with The Father, with The Holy Spirit. A relationship which brings Love, Joy and Peace. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
We too can know the wonder of the great Gift in our midst.
He has given us the Gift of Eternal Life, a free gift for all of us to accept. Greater than any gift which can be unwrapped.
Like those who rejoiced in the excitement of the Promised Messiah, allow their excitement to wash over you, be still and rejoice, The Savior has come! Jesus is alive! Let go of the stress and anxiety that the holiday schedule tries to inflict and allow him to bless you with his Perfect Peace.
His Grace is ours, His Peace is ours, His Joy is ours, His Love is ours . . .
Do you know Jesus?
Jesus, thank You for the precious Gift you have given in Grace! Thank You for taking on human form and walking among us. Thank You that we can rest in Your Grace and live the life to the full that You have promised. I pray that You will help us to turn our eyes to You and enjoy the beautiful Gift that You have given us. I pray that in You, we will find the true meaning of Christmas.
In Your Precious Name we pray,