Like many, I often get aggravated at how Christmas has become overly commercialized and complain about it. Sometimes I do this too much.
Instead of grumbling about the way it is, I should instead focus on how it should be.
I’m with my family, which is a great gift. Many would give all they have to be in my shoes. I’m thinking primarily of those who are serving in the military far from their loved ones. My heart goes out to them.
There are others who are without their family because they have a strained relationship with them. I pray that they will find reconciliation so that future holidays can be shared with family, as it should be.
Of course, I also think of how my kids will be excited as they wake up in just a few short hours to see what Santa has left them. I can’t wait to hear their laughter as they play on their new scooters.
Mostly, though, I think of that day long ago when a scared young lady arrived in Bethlehem with her just-as-scared husband with no place to stay. They ended up in either a barn or a cave (somewhere that animals were kept) and that young lady gave birth to the One whose entry into our world we celebrate.
I wonder about the emotions that must have flooded the hearts of both Mary and Joseph on that night. They had both previously heard from God through His angelic messengers about who Jesus would be and what He would accomplish. And then they were visited by some wide-eyed shepherds who had just seen a miraculous sight.
Jesus would grow up and be just what this world needed and still needs. A perfect mix of God and man who would show us the way to live in peace with both God and our fellow man. He would do no wrong, yet get face death; not for His own misdeeds (there were none), but for ours.
If the story all ended there, it would be a tragedy. However, because of the resurrection it did not end there. As a matter of fact, the story is still unfolding as those who truly follow Jesus are still working to fulfill the mission that He left us.
Christmas gives me joy, strength, hope, and so much more. God came to us on that first Christmas so that we could get to Him.
That’s what I call a gift.