Yesterday, as I was shopping, I suddenly started singing, “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.” Up until then, I had felt quite different. After talking to a few of my friends, I realize that I am not alone when I say, “This has been an unusual Christmas season.” It’s as if Jesus (the Light of the World) has been shining a searchlight on the hearts of men and declaring, “My Christmas gift to you is not in what I am wrapping for you; it is in what I am unwrapping in you.”
Over 2000 years ago, the Son of God shed His royal robes and was wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. The pure and spotless Lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world was swaddled with the same type of cloth that swaddled the unblemished lambs that were set apart to be sacrificed. Wrapped in human flesh, the Kings of Kings had come to unwrap mankind from sin and shame.
The babe who laid where cattle were fed would become the living bread that satisfied man’s spiritual hunger. The wooden trough that was surrounded by lowly shepherds would be replaced by a wooden cross surrounded by haughty mockers, as Emmanuel (God with us) bridged the gap between Heaven and earth. Flesh would die, and eternal life would be birthed as Heaven’s glory wrote the greatest love story of all time.
Jesus entered this world with angelic choirs announcing His coming; He exited it announcing His return. He is the gift that keeps on giving. May You and I open our hearts and give Him permission to unwrap the things that hinder us from receiving more of His love and revelations of His glory.
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” Isaiah 9:6 (KJV).
May you have a beautiful, blessed Christmas!
A little over a week ago, I, along with many others, awaited the arrival of a family member returning from deployment. Parents, spouses, siblings, and sons and daughters visited in the hanger for what seemed like an eternity until the doors were opened signifying that their loved ones were almost home. The hum of the approaching aircraft elicited cheers and applause which continued to crescendo as each plane made its final descent and coasted down the runway. Eager wives and children lined the outskirts of the hanger, waving flags and homecoming signs, anticipating the moment when their loved ones would be safe in their arms.
Once the pilots exited their planes, roses in hand, the anxious throng rushed to the planes and swarmed their heroes. Tears of joy splashed on flight suits as spouses clung to one another and small children were scooped into their parent’s arms. The waiting, wondering, and worrying were over. There would be no more sleepless nights. All were now home safe, just in time for Christmas.
A few days later I was at my childhood home in Texas. Once again I was among loved ones, but this time the atmosphere was much different. Instead of making memories, I was living them. As I wandered through the house looking through items to be listed in Dad’s estate sale, childhood memories collided with the memories of caring for my parents and special needs sister during the past 5 years. Mom is now in heaven with my brother, and Judy and Dad were now in Arizona. It’s funny how seasons I thought would never end seem to have gone by so fast.
Shortly, a new family will be occupying the house I grew up in. As my memories fade, theirs will be birthed. I am not sure where the next road will lead me, I just know that since home is where the heart is, it will always lead me home. It might not be to a place I know of yet, but it will always be with my Lord who knows me. Because of the babe who was born in a stable on a star-studded night, no matter where we wander, when we know Him, we will always be home for Christmas.
Whether you are living memories or making them this Christmas, know that Jesus loves you. May this Christmas be your most beautiful homecoming yet!
Be abundantly blessed!