Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas day is almost here, and for many, the anticipation is building. Children eagerly await the delivery of presents on Christmas morning, while many families look forward to visits with loved ones. Christmas is both joyful and hectic as we try to make memories with loved ones, find the perfect gift, and get everything just right.

The Christmas story calls us to remember that a perfect gift was delivered to mankind. Yet that perfect gift, though highly anticipated by a people longing for a king, was not easily recognized or appreciated. And he was delivered in less than ideal circumstances.

Born to a scared and perplexed couple, he came into the world alone and among the farm animals in a manger. This heavenly gift was birthed homeless and in squalor, wrapped in rags, and laid in a feed trough. And he was born with a price on his head.

That is the paradox of Christmas.

That first Christmas was messy, certainly didn't meet expectations, and happened in less than ideal circumstances.

The Light of the world, the Hope of mankind was not the gift of the king his people desired. He was a helpless baby. The Almighty had put on flesh and had become one of us, but not as a liberating warrior king. God had become man.

Instead, this perfect gift was totally dependent on the care of others. He got cold; he was hungry; he cried; and he felt what we feel.

As we celebrate Christmas, recall that the perfect gift has been given to us. We have a gift of hope, of light that has pierced the darkness, and of love.

May the joy and peace of this Christmas season be yours throughout the coming year.

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