Yesterday I came across one of my favorite Christmas pictures...it's of my youngest, Jesse, from last year. He was not quite 18 months and everything was amazing in his eyes. I look at this picture and think about the awe of Christmas. Perhaps he wasn't in awe, but simply contemplating how to get the star down, but still my children do remind me there is something exciting about Christmas.
Really even out and about there seems to be something different...some call it the magic of Christmas. People tend to be friendlier. Everyone is sharing the holiday cheer and offering an extra smile. It is the most wonderful time of the year, but why?
Is it because families come together? Parties are planned, wish lists made and candy created? Perhaps for some that is the reason. Some like to give, others enjoy entertaining and some love to decorate, but as followers of Christ it's about something more.
Sometimes at our house Christmas can become a bit chaotic...fights over how to decorate, worry about someone breaking the nativity and the mess of decorating cookies. But today as I was thinking about the first Christmas I realized my chaos does not compare to Mary's.
Friend, she was 9 months pregnant riding on the back of a donkey looking for a place to stay. Then she gave birth in a stable which in no way compares to the modern delivery rooms we have today. At times I'm guilty of allowing the chaos to distract me and cause me to lose focus, but this year in those moments I'm praying God will remind me of Mary. He helped her persevere and I know He'll help me do the same.
I also find myself looking at our tree and thinking about the cross. We put presents under our tree, but God put the greatest gift on the cross. Jesus, the baby we celebrate, was born to die for me and you. God made Himself man and came to the earth in a way no man ever had. And Jesus, the Son, obeyed in way I never will. And God, our Father, showed love in a way I can't imagine.
This my friend, is the reason for the season. Luke 2 spells it all out, but John 3:16 sums it all up. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall never perish but have eternal life."
My prayer is that we will celebrate the season as we remember what it is all about. And as we share gifts with ones we love, I hope we remember to share about the One who loves us. This Christmas may we rejoice and reach out!
I'll close with one of my all-time favorite songs...one that has stirred some of these thoughts, but shares them so much better than me! Let the Go Fish Guys remind you what Christmas is all about -