Christmas lists, both the “to do” kind and the ones addressed to Santa Claus, often exclude the most important entries – the Gift and the Giver.
“When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs?” ~G.K. Chesterton
The brilliant lights of “Christmas” illuminate the noisy, festive celebrations of Man. There are no strobe lights, no tinsel, and no jingle bells on the Narrow road, only the deep joyous realization that a gift was given to us that made peace with our holy God possible.
Love was born in a stable.
Did Mary and Joseph decorate the stable with bows and holly? Can you imagine the shepherds coming to see the newborn lying in a manger, each of their sheep sporting red and green plaid collars and bells? Did the wise men bring not only gifts for the King, but also for themselves, each other, the camel keeper, the message bearers and a few extra presents “just in case”?
Yes, there were brilliant lights the night of Christ’s birth. The piercing starlight that backed up a heavenly chorus was provided by God. Ever since that Holy Night, mankind has been trying to one-up the King of Kings. Many Christians today have put up so many lights on their roofs, lawns, trees, boats, and gates that the glorious light from heaven is not visible amidst the massive amount of light pollution.
Church Service on Christmas
Next Sunday is Christmas Day. How many Christians will skip church services in order to “celebrate”? And on that point, I have nothing more to add.
Be thankful. Share with others in the family the abundance of love and grace during this holiday time. If you find yourself worrying about the shopping, the cooking and who is using what greeting, I would ask you to stop, look around and take a moment to visit the stable where Love was born.
If for no other reason on earth, the family of God through the finished work of our Lord Jesus Christ can celebrate the fact that we progress toward the narrow gate left open when Jesus entered Glory. That ancient gate will remain open until we pass through from this side to that.
Remember both the Gift and the Giver. Christmas has come.