Christmas with all its traditions -- tree trimming, cookies baking, eggnog drinking, gift giving, and carolers singing, comes once a year and has been declared the most wonderful time of the year.
Some would say that it’s the gift giving that is the most wonderful thing because they love the anticipation of opening gifts. Others just love the decorating or parties. But if you look past all the outward trappings of our celebrating to the very purpose for the day, you will find the thing that is truly most wonderful. Don’t dare miss this.
The most wonderful thing about Christmas is that Jesus entered the human family so we could join the Divine Family.
He left the comfort and power of his royal throne room for a smelly, dirty stable. He entered our messy world – because he pursued reconciliation between God and man above his own comforts.
It’s called the incarnation – God became flesh and lived among us.
He was a baby who was totally dependent upon His Mother for care and his Father for provision and protection. His diapers needed to be changed, his nose blown and he, too, had to be rocked to sleep.
I wonder how he made it through the terrible twos and if Mary was ready to pull her out? Was he ever bullied? We can only wonder what his childhood was like. Were there squabbles between him and his brothers and fights to be broken up?
But like many of you he probably skinned his knees when he fell and picked his nose when it seemed necessary. Yuk! He was a typical boy who cried when hurt, yelled when excited or angry and played pranks. He was susceptible to the same feelings any child would experience -- scared in the dark, disappointed when not chosen for a team, hungry enough to eat a hippopotamus, and excited when he caught his first fish.
We only get a glimpse of his childhood when the Gospel of Luke says that “he grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.” Luke 2:52
But why would the God of the universe lower himself to be a human and go through all the messiness of the human experience as a boy and family member?
Why? Because God longed with all His heart to make us a part of His divine family; to restore us to Himself. Sin had separated us, left us at odds with God.
God changed his form so that we could be changed to fit into His family.
Changed from being an enemy to being His friend.
Changed from dwelling in the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of Light
Changed from being alienated from God to being His precious child.
Changed from being a sinner to a saint, from lost to found,
From tarnished to a brand-new creation.
He doesn’t take us out of the human, messy experience but joins us in it to be with us and live in us. Emmanuel – God with us.
In all the celebrating of Christmas traditions let us not miss the wonder of the baby in the manger and why He came.
Open your heart and permit Him to be all He came to be – your Savior.