Friday, December 23, 2016
Christmas is such a special time of year. I am always amazed at the amount of people who see Christmas as the perfect time to give, not only to those they love but also to those in need. At the Mission, we receive a large number of donations and calls for volunteering, and we are always appreciative of the overwhelming abundance of generosity.
But have you ever wondered why it is that Christmas seems such a special time of year? Why do hearts feel more generous? Why do we want to draw near to those we love? Why does even the most "grinchy" heart seem to grow when it looks beyond the tinsel and the wrapping paper?
For those of us who profess Christianity, Christmas is a special time simply because of what it represents: the greatest gift ever given to mankind. We celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. For us, the hurt and suffering cries of humanity were answered that night with the shrill cry of a baby. Immortality wrapped itself in mortality so that God could walk among His people. No longer a "voice from the heavens" or a message through mortal prophets, He stepped down from a heavenly throne and chose instead the humble manger in Bethlehem.
The beauty of His sacrifice is unquestionable. The purpose of His coming, unfathomable. He didn't come to restore the military might of King David or the material wealth of King Solomon. He didn't come to heal the sick, though He did that. He didn't come to feed the hungry, though He did that. He didn't come simply to conquer death, though He did that. He came to fulfill the greatest miracle ever conceived: "To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1:79).
This was a miracle that only one could accomplish: Immanuel. God with us. And His birth is only one chapter in His Story.
My prayer for you this Christmas is that you experience Christ, as He is, the Savior, the fulfillment of the promise that sang through the hills of Bethlehem: "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" (Luke 2:14)