As Christmas draws near I attempt to prepare my home, the food, the gifts, etc. But do we prepare ourselves?
I can hardly wait to see the babies light up with smiles and squeals when they finally get to open gifts, when they finally get to see some of the new things we have for them, are allowed to eat as many sweets as they want and finally get to put baby Jesus in the manger.
When we can say, Yes, Christmas is here! Jesus is born! And we can finally have a birthday party for Him. I want them to feel the joy that this celebration brings to us. And to these little ones, that is what Christmas is, Jesus' birthday. But we know the story doesn't end there. This was no ordinary birth, no ordinary baby born on a cold night.
Though we meet Christmas with joy and rejoice that unto us is born a Savior, we realize that even His birth was touched with the sorrow that swaddled our newborn Redeemer. The sorrow of knowing that our Savior took on the flesh and blood of man so that like man He could die. Yet in those moments of sorrow that come as this realization passes through our minds we are again entreated to rejoice, knowing that by His death He has destroyed him who holds the power of death, that is the devil! Tidings of comfort and joy indeed!
"Love caused Your incarnation, love brought You down to me;
Your thirst for my salvation procured my liberty.
O love beyond all telling, that led you to embrace
In love all loves excelling our lost and fallen race."
And as the exiled world waited for that first coming, we long and wait for the second.
"Not as of old a little child
To bear, and fight, and die,
But crowned with glory like the sun
That lights the morning sky."
Sins and sorrows still seem to grow, and thorns infest the ground. We're plagued with doubt and sickness, still saddened by loss and divisions and daily battle our ancient foe, our flesh and this dark world. Our wearied hearts plead, "Come Lord Jesus!"
"Yet with the woes of sin and strife
The world has suffered long;
Beneath the angel strain have rolled
Two thousand years of wrong;
And man, at war with man, hears not
The love-song which they bring;
O hush the noise, ye men of strife
And hear the angels sing.
And ye, beneath life’s crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow,
Look now! for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing.
O rest beside the weary road,
And hear the angels sing!"
But rejoice oh daughter of Zion, your King comes! We have hope. Your King comes, He has promised so it will be.
"The night will soon be ending the dawn can not be far. All you whom darkness frightens with guilt or grief or pain, God's radiant Star now brightens and bids you sing again!"
So as I prepare for Christmas I remember to wait for another blessed morn!
"Oh, brighter than that glorious morn shall dawn upon our race, the day when Christ in splendor comes and we shall see His face."
"O God, You make us glad with the yearly remembrance of the birth of Your only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Grant that as we joyfully receive Hie as our Redeemer, we may with sure confidence behold Him when He comes to be our Judge; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen."
Blessings to you all as you prepare!