Hope Discovery of the Day:
When the Living Word was revealed, our hearts were, too.
Scripture of the Day:
John 1: 1-4,9-14,16-18
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.”
Ever shaken a box to see if you could figure out what was inside? If you have children, you have surely seen their curiosity peak as they try to peek at the surprise gift. But children are not the only curious ones and inside each one of us is the heart of a child, hoping we have been remembered, too. We don’t know what is in the box, but it holds a promise of delight, a blessing.
As we embark on another Christmas holiday, may we not miss celebrating the true Spirit behind Christmas ~ the deep meaning of Christmas interwoven in the palpable traditions all around us. Underneath the tree are gifts, a reminder of the many gifts Christ gave us when He gave us Himself. Our God’s great love was manifest and revealed to us as a baby, but the gifts from that first Christmas keep on giving. The gifts Christ gave us at Christmas are calling out to us ~ Can you hear them?
There in the whimsical decorations is joy, a reminder of the joy our God had when He redeemed us. Depending on who did the wrapping (some of us are not so careful, um, I will not say names here, but you catch my drift – some are gifted (ha ha) at wrapping gifts exquisitely and some are not), the gift might not seem so precious to us. But there is still a delight to unwrap the gift to behold what we have been given. So it is with us in our walk with God. Will we spy to find the hidden joy in all of life, or be thrown off when the packaging seems less than beautiful? Within the rugged exterior and terrain that life often brings, there is a thing of beauty to behold. While our definition of joy is happiness, our Savior had joy when He gave Himself and willingly chose to suffer for our eternal salvation. Maybe our definition of joy might need a little tweaking. (I am feeling the burn with you, too).
There in the glow of the lights and the crackling fire is a sense of peace and contentedness. Our souls are calmed while we are resting in the moment. (Work with me here, people, if some of you are more like Martha. We all need some Mary moments). Or maybe it is when the snow falls, that we just feel at peace when we are all trapped at home and things are canceled. What a reminder of the peace Christ gives us – not as the world gives – but a complete, enveloping peace no matter what chaos is abounding or surrounding us.
The extra care taken at the holidays might seem dutiful and stressful with all our “to do’s”, but the motive behind it all is love. Gifts bought, foods prepared, all with the desire to demonstrate love reminds me of Christ’s radical demonstration of love. There in the giving of Himself, Christ demonstrated the most sacrificial love of all. He left His throne and chose to willingly suffer to win our hearts.
The desire to spend the holidays with loved ones can be stressful when we have a lot of traditions that begin to take on a life of their own, but underneath all of the planning is a desire to be together – to relate with people we care about. Ultimately Christmas is all about relationship and the restoration of the relationship between sinful man and a Holy God.
Gifts are temporary. The joy and happiness they bring does not last long. But God’s gift is Eternal. Unlike a gift that does not fit, the gift of Jesus will always fit our every need.
There in the songs that fill the air are lyrics inviting us to remember the purpose of Christmas, pulsing through our veins. While the culture war continues over what is politically correct to say or not say (in a culture that also says free speech is a right), we have to rise above the noise and remind ourselves as well as those around us what Christmas is all about.
When the Word became flesh, God sent an invitation through His Son to all Who would receive it. Have you received the invitation from God yet? Have you accepted?
When the Living Word was revealed, our hearts were, too. The Holy Spirit shows us our need then meets it through Christ. Merry Christmas to all. May you each contemplate and open up the gifts Jesus brought us this Christmas and all year ’round.