The birth of Jesus ushers in a season of light and hope and celebration.
Posted in , Dec 8, 2016
I love the hustle and bustle of Christmas—tiny shepherds dressed in bathrobes parading down the aisles of the church, beautiful choir concerts and singing Christmas trees, church dinners and fun get-togethers with family and friends. Add in the joy of watching my grandchildren’s delight as we bake cookies together and open gifts, it’s a precious time.
But one of my absolute favorite times during Christmas is late at night when I’m the only one still awake. There’s a sweetness to those moments of sipping a cup of hot tea while I enjoy the soft glow of the lights on the tree, or while listening to some Christmas carols like Silent Night or Away in the Manger. It’s my opportunity to slow down and worship the King, to dwell on the most precious gift ever given. And some nights, it’s almost like there’s a holy hush in the room.
My eyes are always drawn to the Bethlehem village on my mantle and to the Nativity set that sits on the side table. That’s what the season is all about, and sometimes that gets lost in the dizzying whirl of shopping, wrapping presents and dashing from place to place.
And then one night as I looked at the stable and the figurines of Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus, the thought hit me: What if Jesus hadn’t come?
What if there’d been no babe in the manger? What if there’d been no angels serenading His birth? The lovely and inspiring carols would not have existed. The reason for celebrating wouldn’t have occurred. The lights of the Christmas tree would have been dimmed, the candles in the windows darkened. The joy of the season would not have been.
The gift of salvation would not have existed. The hope, comfort and delight of Jesus wouldn’t have been available to us—and our lives would have been bereft of His grace and mercy.
But the good news? Jesus did come and because of that, our lives have been changed forever. Love was wrapped in swaddling clothes and placed in an humble manger. And across the world, joy blossomed, hope unfurled and the gift of salvation was given to all.
I’m so grateful that He came to that little stable in Bethlehem, bringing us the most wonderful gift ever given.