Saturday, December 24, 2011

He Came

So much has happened in our household in the last week, as I'm sure it has in yours too.

I could post pics of Little Man's actual birthDAY (and I will, Grandma). :-)

I could post about my wonderful night at the symphony orchestra with dear friends (and probably will).

I could post pics of our Bible reading and gift opening on Christmas Eve (and eventually will).

But right now I am overwhelmed with the incredible gift of Jesus. I took a friend grocery shopping yesterday, on Dec 23 (which was a Friday this year in case that escaped anyone's notice), late in the afternoon. Friday night traffic is bad every week, plus it was rush hour, plus it was the last shopping day before Christmas Eve, and the traffic was TERRIBLE. So, so, so backed up, no matter which road we tried to take. We passed a fender bender, and the expressions on the drivers' faces said it all.

I myself, by some incredible portion of God's grace, was feeling rather patient, but as I sat at yet another red light I pondered..... our culture has made Christmas all about the non essentials. Must. Have. Just. The. Right. Gift. And just the right tree. Must get cards out. Decorate the house. Bake cookies. None of those things are bad, and in fact many of them provide traditions that our family loves. But they are not the essential meaning of Christmas. Seeing first hand all the frazzled shoppers, the crowded parking lots, and the rushing cars just seemed to confirm how off base most of us are about Christmas. How little we are thinking of the fact that Jesus came.

And then it struck me. That first Christmas, they didn't know He was coming then either. People were crowding into Bethlehem so much that there was no room for just one more couple, a young carpenter and his very pregnant wife. The census was in full swing. Stern soldiers, jostling crowds, probably many average citizens disgruntled with having to register for the purpose of paying more taxes. Rushing, rushing, rushing.

Some things have not changed that much in two thousand years.

But into that world, Jesus came. He came! And into our world, he still comes. Bringing peace, and hope and joy and salvation! Knowing our weakness and sin and absolute inability to reach Him, He reached out to US.

I am overcome with the gift.

Lord, let me understand as never before the truth of your coming. What it meant, and what it still means. How it changes everything. What you gave up in order to reach out to us, and what you freely gave us though it cost you everything. Lord, let my response be absolute, pure, undiluted worship. "Thank you" seems so small..... yet my whole heart beats with gratitude for your amazing gift to me. Thank you.

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