In case you haven’t noticed … I love Christmas! I am a self-diagnosed and very proud and LOUD Christmas-aholic. I don’t apologize for it … I don’t backtrack from it … and I certainly don’t blush because of it!
I believe that Christmas IS the most wonderful time of the year. I also happen to believe that there is a joy that is connected with this season that all other moments of human experience achingly lack.
Do you want to know what else I believe? I believe in the power of Christmas because I believe in the simplicity of the manger.
I believe that angels really did sing a symphony that only heaven could have composed!
I believe that shepherds actually ran toward the stable and arrived out of breath, sweaty and in awe.
I also happen to agree with the Bible that Mary truly was a virgin.
I believe that the sky lit up in a glorious display of heaven’s extravagant wonder because the Light of the World had been born.
I believe that the wisest, most learned and most humanistic men of the age came and bowed down to the infant Child who was barely speaking baby babble at the time.
And I certainly believe that the Innkeeper has regretted his curt words of, “No Room!” for the past 2,000 years.
I believe that Christmas is more than just a day … it is more meaningful than a holiday season … and it holds more power than one month on the calendar can communicate.
One of the reasons that I love Christmas so much is because it is certainly the easiest time of the year for a believer to communicate clearly what he or she believes to a world immersed in cold and dark pain.
Christmas is the time of year when people will actually listen to the hope that you have found.
Christmas is the time of year when people are hoping for a miracle … for a reason to believe … and for a song to sing.
This year, instead of talking about the ridiculous election that we have just been through or about the inefficiency of government while standing in the long lines at the Post Office, why not begin a conversation about Christmas?
“What is your favorite childhood Christmas memory?”
“Do you have a favorite Christmas song?”
“Do you go to church at Christmas-time?”
“Aren’t you glad that Christmas is about so much more than a man in a red suit?!”
And then, allow your fellow line-waiters to respond or to follow up with their own questions.
As you go about your Christmas business, whether it is shopping, eating, sending, spending or waiting, perhaps you would join me in praying for divine appointments. Ask that the Father of Creation will set you up with someone who needs a splash of joy!
And then look for it … wait for it … and expect it!
When a grouchy shopper stands in front of you in line, don’t ignore them and certainly don’t join in their grousing, but turn the conversation to joy and infiltrate the atmosphere with hope! After all … hope is why He came! Perhaps “hope” is exactly why He sent you to this specific person in this specific line at this specific moment.
Rather than becoming angry or frustrated with the clerk who is taking too long and then can’t get your change correct, why don’t you look into her eyes and say, “I appreciate you. Thanks for working so hard at this time of year.”
Can I just share something with you? It is time for you and I to become Christmas! It is time for you and I to clothe ourselves in the hope and joy of this spectacular season and then to share it generously and unashamedly in the darkness of our culture.
People need the life-changing message of Christmas more than ever. They need to know that God dressed Himself in human skin and slept in a manger filled with scratchy hay while sheep bleated and cows drooled.
People need Christmas with skin on. Perhaps you are God’s miraculous gift to the world in which you live this year. Oh … I am not saying that you are the Savior … but I am saying that your life is the manger that holds the Savior. Maybe your life has been scratchy … but you can still hold the Christ-child.
The world that you live in may only experience the Christ of Christmas to the extent that you share Him. When was the last time that you shared the Prince of Peace with anyone?
Sister … you got the job! It’s time for you to take the true meaning of Jesus to the workplace … to your neighbors … to the long lines at the mall!
Brother … you got the job! The world is waiting for your life to exhibit the hope … the joy … and the peace of the greatest Gift that has ever been given.
And, at Christmas, the world waits in wonder for all of us who belong to Him, to live the bright and joyous demonstration of all He is.
Did you ever think about the sweet fact that when Mary and Joseph looked adoringly into the eyes of the Baby Jesus that they might have simultaneously thought, “So … this is what God looks like in human flesh!”?!
God became a Baby and looked back into the eyes of human beings with love, with hope and with joy. Perhaps, this year, it is time for you to give birth to Jesus to the world in which you live. It may be painful … just ask Mary … but do it anyway.
You might feel like you don’t have room for Him in your busy life … just ask the Innkeeper … but do it anyway!
The world needs Christmas … the world needs Jesus. Let Him be born in you. Let your life become His Bethlehem.
I hope that this year, when the people in your world collide with your life that they might say in unison with Joseph and Mary, “So … this is what God looks like in human flesh!”
Merry Christmas! You got the job! Go and BE Christmas to someone this year!