“The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”” Luke 2:11-14 NLT
When are we going to realize that this life we live is not up to us? When will we begin to understand our lives are not our own that our very steps are ordered by God Himself? If God knew us before we were even formed, then He knows the plans He has for each step of our journey, if only we would wake at dawn with outstretched hands toward heaven in complete surrender, then just maybe we could move so freely in Him it would blow our minds. Yes, our King of Kings was born in a stable. Yes He was wrapped in cloth and laid to sleep in a manager. Yes it was cold. Yes it was humble. Yes it seemed all so unworthy for the Savior of the world. But He came to save.
Let us take a step back and realize it is not about the baby and His meek birth, it is about God coming to this earth. A God who loves us unconditionally EVERYDAY and no matter what mischief we have gotten ourselves into. He waits each day at the setting of the sun with arms open wide to hold us close. He watches as we look past at times what He has done. He longs for us to seek Him daily, to be sought out in the middle of our busy lives. He waits, patiently. Why can’t we see that He will not leave us in our mess? Why do we fail to notice that He picks us up and dusts us off every time we fall? His love knows no end.
We will forever visit that manger. We will be humbled by its power. However, we need to see past it and into what this birth really was. It was proclaimed years before it happened. God knew us, therefore, He knew we would need a Savior. He KNEW we would need to be loved. He KNEW we needed to be rescued from this tormented world. He knew. He knew. He knew. I want to get this so ingrained in my spirit that I cannot hear anything else. I want others to know this same truth. He came as an infant but He was always God.
God came to save the world. He came to show us the ultimate gift, the gift of salvation. The gift which only needs to be given once. The grace gift of salvation is sufficient to cover a multitude of sins. Why can we not see God in that manger instead of a child shivering in the cold? We seem to put so much emphasis on giving material things during this holiday season. Spending money we don’t have. Giving gifts until it hurts. Buying things we know are not really of value. Why not just give Jesus? The ultimate gift of grace and salvation, the only gift that truly keeps giving and it fits everyone’s needs. The gift of God Himself to a broken world.
I pray this Christmas season that I can stop seeing the baby in the manger and just see God. I want to just be myself this Christmas and being all about Jesus is just that. I am nothing without Him. If He had not come, I would have no reason to exist for I would just be this bitter, hopeless person, unable to give light to anyone. I long for the day when this world finally gets just who Jesus is. I await the moment when all earth bows for they have come to see God in His fullness. Just like Martin Luther King, I have a dream……
Peace be with all of you during this Christmas season. After all of the hustle and bustle I want us all to just rest. Yes, sit and rest. Close our eyes and see God. To quiet our souls and breathe. To manage to get our flesh to settle down and see what God has done for us through the birth of Jesus. My dream of unity would be so simple if we could all see that God is love and love is all we need. We were commanded by Jesus to love. It is so simple. Love was born in that manger some 2,000 years ago, not just a baby. Salvation was born to an unsuspecting couple, ordinary people, therefore it is also for those who seem unimportant. Let me assure you, you are important and you matter to God. Because He loves you, He sent Jesus.
This world is nothing without God. This world cannot offer peace or joy. It cannot offer salvation or hope. Only God can save us. Only God can give us the peace we need daily, so my dream is simple: Choose to Love. Choose to love your neighbor. Choose to love yourself. Choose to love the life you have been given and be content in what God has given to you. For it will be through love that others will see the Light, the Light they should see when they gaze upon the manger.