I can lose myself in Christmas faster than you can drop and shatter a Christmas tree ornament!
I love its majesty with the quiet Bethlehem night, bright star and angel choir. And I really lose myself in the characters of the story – the Baby Jesus, Ancient Anna and Simeon as they wait patiently for the arrival of the Messiah, and even the innkeeper (the Biblical equivalent of Ebeneezer Scrooge.)
But the most breathtaking element of the story has got to be this: God is going to visit earth and steps down from heaven carrying a Baby in his arms!
God enters a world that has grown cold toward Him, where once warm emotions have been replaced by abstract religious activity centered around rules. He approaches people who don’t trust his intentions or grasp his heart. He comes to his own and they want nothing to do with Him… kind of like today.
But then Jesus shows up and as Hebrews 1:3 says: “This Son perfectly mirrors God and is stamped with God’s nature.” MSG Jesus’ acts of kindness, mercy and healing revealed who God really was and that He doesn’t play favorites – every person has his undivided attention. He comes with arms extended, not finger pointing!
God desperately wants relationships, not just rule-followers.
And remember, Jesus didn’t meander in. He wasn’t just ‘in the neighborhood’ and decided to stop and say hello.. This plan had been in God’s heart since before earth was formed out of the inky void of nothingness. God had always wanted a family and loved the pure fellowship as He walked with Adam and Eve in the cool garden evenings.
When sin broke that special relationship, God’s heart hurt. But He had a rescue plan prepared. Sin needed to be punished and Jesus offered to be the sin offering for the world. So, if we remove all the trappings of Christmas that we use to help us celebrate, the exciting truth that will always remain is that God loves us beyond our ability to imagine.
The fact that most people don’t believe (and that many Christians struggle with) is that Jesus came in human form, with love, not judgment.
To have the very Son of God, the Creator of the universe bend down and whisper in your ear, “I’d love to be your Friend” is the most valuable gift we have ever been offered.