As I sat by the warmth of gas logs this morning, I counted gifts in my gratitude journal. How can I not? I have been blessed. An unusual contentment enveloped me as I soaked in the sweetness of the moment.
I began to think of family and friends who are dealing with loss, grief, health concerns, situations that cannot be fixed with a wrapped present or a holiday celebration. I prayed for them, and I thought of other Christmases when I sank in my own gloom and despair. I understand.
Whether we purchased all the asked-for gifts or money was tight; whether everyone comes home this year or we have an empty chair at the table; whether the family gathers happily or conflict erupts; whether life feels full or we experience an emptiness that cannot be filled;
There is Jesus.
He is Lord. Lord over all. Lord of my sunny days and my dark nights. Lord of my laughter and my tears. Lord and King benevolent, always bestowing the grace of Himself. He is the greatest present. He is the closest presence.
He is God with us.
The mystery was revealed and angels gazed in wonder.
The prophecy foretold was fulfilled.
The Promise became living, breathing Infant. Child. Savior.
The Creator surrendered to the constraints of creation.
The Lawgiver fulfilled the law.
The breath of God, very Word, became flesh, dwelling with us. We see His glory.
The unutterable name of YHVH was called Yeshua. Jesus.
And thus . . .
The lost is found. The prodigal gets to go home.
The impure is cleansed. The sinner is called righteous.
The ugly is redeemed and clothed in beauty.
The war-torn is offered peace and a place of rest.
The needy receives grace.
The orphan is welcomed into the Father’s house and invited to call Him Abba.
Those thousands of years ago in Bethlehem, it was a holy night.
This day, this time in history, this moment, it is holy still.