You could say that I love Christmas a lot. Probably more than the average person. Ok, I admit it: I’m pretty much obsessed with this holiday. I mean I LOVE it. I have all these little traditions that I wait all year for….white peppermint mochas and homemade Christmas cards and the movie White Christmas. I count down the days until the day after thanksgiving when I can start blasting my Christmas music and eating Little Debbie Christmas tree cakes. It’s magical. (I mean the whole thing, not just the Christmas tree cakes.) But seriously, Christmas is awesome. Who doesn’t love presents and mistletoe and houses decorated in lights?
When I was a kid, before we would open some of our presents in Christmas Eve, my parents would always read us the account of Jesus’ birth from Luke 2. And you would hear it at church, see nativity scenes everywhere, hear it from Linus in A Charlie Brown Christmas. But for me there seemed to be this disconnect. I mean, I loved Jesus and I understood that the story was why we celebrated, but I didn’t really get it. I did not understand the magnitude of the Incarnation.
As I’ve gotten older, every year, the Lord has planted truths about the Incarnation deeper and deeper into my heart. Immanuel, God with us. Jesus chose to become one of us so that He could do what none of us could….so He could save us. In the midst of a dark, broken, sinful world, a baby came who would set us free. It was the only way that we could be right with God. The only way that we could dwell in His presence. So Jesus came to dwell in our presence, living in our world, wearing our clothes and eating our food so that He could break the power of sin by sacrificing himself. Beautiful.
And this is why we celebrate. This is why we can put up pretty trees and give gifts and have parties. It’s why we can gather around tables with family and friends and eat amazing food. It’s why we can enjoy the warmth of this season. Because we have been given the most amazing gift….a God who came to dwell with us and still dwells with us today. Because we are free.
I hope this leads your heart to worship. I hope as you gather these next few days with family and friends, that the truths are ringing out in your heart. That we would all remember that Christmas is more than the presents and traditions, but that these are just ways that we celebrate the greatest gift of all: Immanuel.
I’ll end this post with words from one of my favorite Christmas songs. I hope it warms your heart with love for the Savior.
What hope we hold this starlit night
A King is born in Bethlehem
Our journey long, we seek the light
That leads to the hallowed manger ground
What fear we felt in the silent age
Four hundred years, can He be found?
But broken by a baby’s cry
Rejoice in the hallowed manger ground
God incarnate here to dwell
Praise His name, Emmanuel
The son of God, here, born to bleed
A crown of thorns would pierce His brow
And we beheld this offering
Exalted now the King of kings
Praise God for the hallowed manger ground!
God incarnate here to dwell
Praise His name. Emmanuel