The stars are (or will be) brightly shining…
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth…
Christmas Eve is probably my favorite day in the year. Sure, there are the presents, given and received, too much delicious food, gatherings with friends and family, tinsel and trees and bright lights, all lovely. There’s more, though…a sense of anticipation, it seems to me, as a weary, war-torn world holds its breath and waits. Heartbeats quicken and eyes turn heavenward, searching for the Star of the East, heralding the best message humankind has ever received:
For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. (KJV).
As far as I’m concerned, no more beautiful words have ever been spoken or written. And though we might not see the Star, or hear the angels sing, the promise is as true today as it was on that first night in Bethlehem. Like the Wise Men and the shepherds, we too can stand in awe of God’s Glorious Gift–Emmanuel, ‘God with us.’ Jesus, the Living Bridge between you and me pand the Most High God. The Hope of all.
Possibly, you’re a little down-hearted right now. Maybe your health isn’t the best, or you’ve lost a loved one, human or animal, or you don’t have a tree or presents or any of the other customary trimmings of Christmas. Perhaps you have received the Gift of the Lord’s unfailing love and forgiveness and hope, but you’ve become distracted by troubles and have forgotten how precious this Pearl of Great Price really is. Perhaps you haven’t received Emmanuel, in which case you stand at the threshold of a whole new world of light and joy, even in the midst of sorrow.
The password is a simple prayer, spoken aloud or in the sweet silence of your innermost self. The words don’t need to be fancy, and nobody needs underwrite them, or to put their hand on your head and shout hallelujah. This night, or any night, can be holy, because the Child can be born in your heart, just as He was, so very long ago, in that broken-down and none-too-clean stable.
See the symbolism in that? I knew you would, because you’re one smart Who. (Okay, so maybe you’re a Grinch some of the time, like me, but it doesn’t have to be chronic.) We have choices, yet another of God’s many gifts.
Wherever this message finds you, I wish and yours a Blessed and Peaceful Christmas. May bells ring out over snowy fields and plains, over mountains and deserts and tropical vistas, carrying the Good News–Glory to our newborn King. And instead of fussing and fretting and wearing yourself down to a nub, may you remember to take the time to get quiet, climb into God’s lap, and allow Him to soothe and restore you. He longs to do just that.
And please remember what we talked about yesterday. God is not mad at you. God is not disappointed in you. God has not written you off as a lost cause, no matter what you’ve done, not done, said, not said, thought or not thought. He loves you. Period.