I can get lost in Christmas faster than you can drop and break a Christmas ornament.
I lose myself in its majesty.
I’m not sure how accurate a portrayal our church plays are. I suspect that the plastic baby Jesus and the eight year old wise men wearing their Dads’ safety-pinned bathrobes probably don’t do the real story justice. But the grandeur of the bright star … the presentation of the costly gifts … the angel choir breaking in on a quiet Bethlehem night scene … are all incredible word pictures.
I lose myself in its characters.
I watch the movements of ancient Anna and Simeon as they wait patiently for the Messiah to make his entrance into their world. I love the looks of terror, turning to bewilderment and finally becoming awe as the shepherds are the first of earth’s inhabitants to hear the Good News. I even love the poor maligned inn keeper who has been turned into the Biblical equivalency of Ebenezer Scrooge for putting his guests in the barn.
But mostly I lose myself in the breathtaking theology of the Incarnation!
God is going to visit earth and so He steps down from heaven … with a Baby in his arms!
- God enters a world that has grown cold toward Him.
- He shows up in a place where a once warm relationship with Him has been turned into abstract religious activities centered around rules.
- He approaches people who don’t trust his intentions … who don’t grasp his great heart for them.
- He comes to his own and they want nothing to do with Him!
A bit like He is perceived today.
And then the Baby arrives! Hebrews 1:3 says, “By his Son, God created the world in the beginning, and it will all belong to the Son at the end. This Son perfectly mirrors God, and is stamped with God’s nature.” The Message
And we’re amazed … “This is God? Really? You’re kidding, right? I thought He’d be different! I thought He’d order us around … make us get things for Him … make us peel his grapes and wax his car …make us feel religious and yucky. But I like Him!”
For the next couple of weeks you may have to push religion aside to experience God’s pure intentions. You may need to gaze past the decorated tree, flickering candles and neighbor’s costly moving Santa on his lawn to see God’s loving gaze. You may have to ignore the sound of the merchants’ ads, the lilting musical tributes to Frosty, Rudolph and silver bells to be able to hear God saying,
“The Gift is Jesus and it’s for you!”
May the joy of the Gift overtake you completely on your journey!
Fresh Heart Ministries