This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. Luke 2:12
Every year after Christmas Eve service, Dad turned on the car radio so we could listen to the announcer track Santa's journey through the winter sky. I was so eager to get home, jump in bed and quickly fall asleep so Santa could come to our house. Sometimes, I tried to stay awake as long as I could, hoping to catch a glimpse of the Jolly Old Elf himself as he left gifts under our tree. How my little heart thrilled at the thought of catching that twinkle in Santa's eyes.
Oh, if only I could just catch a glimpse...
In Luke 2:8-20, we read the story of shepherds who caught more than a glimpse of the greatest gift ever given. While they were tending the sheep, angels appeared in the sky; and as frightened as they were, the shepherds were so convinced of the angels' news that they said, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened." When they arrived at their destination, they came face-to-face with Jesus. He wasn't left under a beautifully decorated tree. Instead, He was placed in a manger. He wasn't wrapped in a pretty package tied with a brightly colored bow. He was wrapped in strips of swaddling cloth.
When our boys were small, I couldn't wait to see their little faces as they opened their gifts. I anticipated that moment more than I looked forward to opening my own gifts. I wanted to see their eyes light up and hear their joyful squeals of delight over their new toys. Might this be what the Father had in mind when he gave us Jesus? Is it possible He greatly anticipated our response to His gift more than He wanted to receive from us? I think so, because it's more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).
This year, as we reflect on the Christmas story, let us see Jesus. Let us unwrap the gift of the Savior and receive anew all that He has given us, and turn our faces toward heaven and offer to the Father our joyful praise and thanksgiving for all that He has done.
Merry Christmas, Everyone!
About the author:
Renee Rowell, lives in Elgin, SC with her husband David and their youngest son. Their eldest son is serving overseas in the U. S. Air force. For the past twenty-five years she and David have served shoulder-to-shoulder in worship ministry and presently minister at The Church of the Harvest in Lexington, SC. Renee's current projects are blogging at Life Outside the Margins and authoring a book, Loving Like Jesus Loves: Strengthening Your Heart for the Extra Mile. Renee welcomes visitors to her blog or facebook page.