Thursday, December 21st, 2023
A few words of encouragement for this Christmas season…
In the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, You meet us wherever we find ourselves. Whether it’s preparing for a gathering, shopping, wrapping presents or decorating our homes. Whether we are shoulder to shoulder with others or standing all alone. Your presence has no conditions besides an open heart.
No matter how we feel, what’s on our to-do list or our ETA for the next event, Your presence transports us to a place unlike any other. A holy peace envelopes us and reminds us of the true reason for all that we are doing. If ever the things that we do in this season cloud the magnificence of the birth of Your Son, it’s time to step back and reevaluate.
This season isn’t really about making people happy, buying just the right gift or hosting the perfect meal. It’s about celebrating the greatest birth that ever took place. It’s about celebrating all the miraculous things that God has done in our lives to bring us to this place. It’s about inviting the presence of God everywhere we go, knowing that He is what makes everything we do so special.
God is the one that makes everything beautiful. The ugly, the broken, the empty and the rejected. It’s not about us, our skills, our timing or our presence. He gave us everything we have and the best thing we can do is give it right back to Him. What He can do with it will far outweigh our very best efforts.
Many of us can acknowledge that if not for the saving grace of our Heavenly Father and that baby born in a manger, we would not be here. All that we have and all that we are would be nothing without the Lion of Judah standing before and beside us. Because of that King born as a baby that humbled himself on a cross, we can now make our hearts a dwelling place for Holy Spirit. Nothing can ever take that from us.
No matter the valleys, the mountains, the ever-growing to-do list, the successes, the failures, the embarrassments or the moments of weakness. None of it is ever too great to make our hearts inhabitable for Holy Spirit. Yes, we may need to repent and turn from our ways, but Holy Spirit will be there as soon as we start to make the turn. All because of that baby born in a manger.
There comes a point when Christmas becomes something we celebrate every day of the year. That baby born in a manger is the same God that created the whole universe and the same Holy Spirit that takes up residence in our willing hearts. That perfect sacrifice born in a less-than-sanitary animal stable is what makes us acceptable to our Heavenly Father. He is what makes it possible for us to live an abundant life and walk with a peace that makes no earthly sense.
He wants us to live that way 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. He wants us to meet Him in that extended family gathering, that lighting ceremony, the many miles traveled to meet all of our commitments and even the hours spent doing dishes, cleaning and washing our Christmas sweaters. He wants us to recognize the significance of His birth on December 25th just as much as every other day of the year. Don’t let the day after Christmas be any less significant than the day that came before it.
They are all precious to our Creator. He is doing marvelous things in each and every one. His greatest desire is that we seek Him above everything else. With our eyes on Him, we will experience the best of all that He has for us. He is the Savior of our world, the greatest King ever born, the perfect sacrifice and the perfect Friend and Father that we all need.