For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given ...”
(Isaiah 9:6, NIV)
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.
(“Twas the Night Before Christmas” by Clement Moore)
As a child, I could hardly contain my excitement as I waited in breathless anticipation for Santa Claus, a.k.a. St. Nicholas, to come and leave me presents! Oh sure, I knew about Jesus. He was the baby we talked about at church who was born in a cow stall. Certainly, he was the reason we celebrated Christmas, but he wasn’t the one who checked my list twice, to see if I was naughty or nice. He didn’t dress up in a red suit and come down the chimney and bring me gifts. After all, Christmas is about the presents!
If I had better understood how valuable the gifts were that came with Jesus, I would have waited in joyful hope for Him. What a present God sent us wrapped in a baby’s tiny body, and the priceless gifts that baby brought for everyone the night he was born. Awesome gifts that will never, ever wear out. Presents that don’t need batteries and really are “one size fits all.” Gifts that no matter how much I have of them, I will always need more.
Perhaps if I had listened more closely to the the old, old story, and sang more deeply the familiar hymns, I would not have missed receiving such lovely presents. The good news is every Christmas we have a chance to open the stockings of our hearts and let the Christ Child fill them full of hope, peace, joy, love and salvation. The even better news is we are always given more than enough for us to re-gift them to others! After all... Christmas is about the presents.
Prayer: Dear God, every year at Christmas, we celebrate the greatest gift of all, your Son our Lord and Savior. He came in the flesh, dwelt among us and made it possible for us to live eternally with him. Help us to receive him into our hearts and the great gifts he offers. Amen.
In His Word,
Reverend Dee Dee