Christmas is getting so close, and I can feel my anticipation building. All year I look forward to the colorful ornaments, the twinkling gold lights, the constant smell of hot chocolate and cookies, and the way every sound echoes in hollow tones over the frozen, snow-powdered landscape; I eagerly await Christmas Day, when my family will surround our beautiful tree, begin our morning in prayer, and start to open presents. I love watching the expressions of glee flit across my little sisters’ and brother’s faces after releasing some new goodie from its gilded wrapping.
However, Christmas is two weeks away, and although it’s mid-December, temperatures range from 40 to 60 degrees outside! Not much of a winter wonderland… So I content myself with listening to as much Christmas music as possible.
I was skipping through some Perry Como tracks when I stumbled upon a song entitled “Christmas Bells.” It started off slowly, and a little boring I admit, but I decided to let it play. Maybe it will get better, I hoped. I’m so glad I let it run through, because Mr. Como serenaded me with some of the most convicting lyrics I’ve ever heard in a simple holiday number.
Christmas bells in the steeple
Ringing out on Christmas morn’
But where are all the people
Where has everybody gone?
They’re all busy with their presents
Snug and warm behind their doors
Thinkin’ no one was forgotten
Empty shelves in all the stores
Doesn’t anyone remember
As they wake up Christmas morn’
The 25th day of December
Little Baby Jesus was born?
Christmas bells in the steeple
How their ringing seems to say
O come all ye faithful, get down on your knees and pray
Don’t you know it’s Christmas Day?
Don’t we get a little too caught up in the festivity and splendor of the Christmas season? It seems so easy to brush aside the Christ-Child’s birth in favor of some grand new gift; it’s all too easy to think, “Yeah, it’s Christmas! It’s Jesus’ birthday! What a blessing! When can I go shopping?” Christmas has become a holiday for gift-getting or watching what we deem cliche Nativity cantatas without attempting to “feel” the story. Our Savior’s birth was a WONDERFUL event, even if we fail to see that wonder as we ought.
Let me put it this way: Jesus, the only begotten Son of GOD was born in human flesh; and He was not born in a palace, with pomp and fanfare to announce His advent. He was born in a cave-like stable, in the cold, alone. This Baby Boy, this King of Kings, was born a pauper. Why? Because He is “meek and lowly of heart;” because “He first loved you;” because He didn’t come to be society’s champion, but salvation to His poor, lost people.
Consider this also: although my Lord was a new born child, He was still 100% GOD! As Mary held Him close, He knew every thought of love and awe and worship that passed through her mind; He knew the shepherds were on their way before the shepherds knew it themselves. He knew He was born to die. He knew He was the Savior, and that one day, you would be born; He loved you already. He remembered the creation and heartbreak of Adam’s fall. His heart broke for every lost soul that wandered the earth; and He knew the name of each of those lost souls, past, present, and future. His mental gaze fixed on you, and He knew He would call you, one day, after you were born 2,000 years later. He missed the joy and peace of Heaven with all it’s celestial grandeur as His mother tried desperately to keep Him warm and comfortable; yet He considered you worth this sacrifice. However, because He was also a human baby, He could express none of these thoughts. He enjoyed the warmth of His mother’s arms, listened as she prayed to His Father in heaven, and enjoyed some precious sleep. He knew His work would begin soon enough.
Our Lord Jesus was born on Christmas Day, given as a beautiful Christmas gift to the whole world. And isn’t that worth a little more thought than our holiday tinsel? Isn’t this the best reason for Christmas cheer? Take a moment of your time, right now, to “consider Him,” and to thank Him for the “great things He hath done for you.”
Luke 2:19- But Mary kept these things, and pondered them in her heart.
Isaiah 33:17- Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off.