Ever since I was old enough to remember, I have always loved Christmas. I remember the first time it snowed on Christmas and my dad brought home a puppy after he’d announced that the discussion was over and to “quit asking.” Or the time I thought I heard Santa’s sleigh land on top of the house only to find out later in life that my dad had tripped over the coffee table and done a belly flop right into the Christmas tree while playing Santa. Christmas was a full contact sport that year!
Those vivid memories lived on into adulthood, and special memories continue to be made today. I will never forget the time about ten years ago when we spent Christmas in a small New Hampshire village with my wife and her family and attended Christmas Eve service in a beautiful, white-frame church building. The doors opened onto the main street, inviting people in to see and hear the story of Christmas portrayed as the snow began to fall outside.
A young married couple in the church portrayed Mary and Joseph while their infant son played the role of Jesus. There he was, lying in a manger filled with straw and wrapped in a blanket. As the Christmas pageant unfolded, the young child became restless and began to cry. Those cries turned into screams that filled the room. A four year old seated next to me asked if baby Jesus was going to be all right.
That serious-yet-simple childlike faith: “Is Jesus going to be all right?” The answer to that is yes . . . a miraculous yes!
I love reading the first two chapters of the Gospel of Luke from The Message Bible. The visual imagery of the Christmas story leaps off the pages as Scripture tells the miraculous account from Mary’s conversation with the angel Gabriel, God’s angel and angelic choir visiting the sheepherders’ camp to the birth of Jesus there in a stable in Bethlehem. The promises made and fulfilled:
- He will be great, be called Son of the Highest.
- The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David.
- He will rule Jacob’s house forever—no end, ever, to his kingdom.
- A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a great and joyful event that is meant for everyone, worldwide, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. Seeing is believing.
I hope your Christmas memories lead you to a peaceful place of special times with family and friends but most importantly leading you to an understanding of the true meaning of Christmas. Just watch out for coffee tables!
May we all give thanks and glory to God in the heavenly heights! Peace to all men and women on earth who please Him.
See you downstream . . .