O Come O Come Emanuel…..
This is one of my favorite days of the year. Family gathers, food is prepared, games are played, mistletoe is hung, and love peace joy fill the room!
Actually, for me it all starts on the Eve of the Eve. Yesterday. All the final preparations for the biggest celebration of the year are completed. Final presents are wrapped. Kids scramble to find a box to put the presents they bought in and run from room to room looking for tap and scissors and bows. Baking is done. House gets cleaned. Outfits are chosen for the Christmas Eve services. Complaining ensues by the little people about how they have to walk the dogs today and the 2 Christmas Eve services their mom is dragging them to(ok this isn’t my favorite part, but somehow it give me joy). Stockings are hung by the chimney with care in hopes that St. Nick soon will be there…..
I have a friend that calls him Satan Claus. A little curt and kinda makes you cringe but hang with me for a second. He may be onto something. I have always loved Santa Clause. His “HO HO HO” makes me smile, Rudolph is the cutest little reindeer I’ve ever seen, and he’s brought me some pretty darn good gifts. St. Nick was a real person, who I understand did some really great things and thus our society took that and turned it into a materialistic overgrown man in a red suit that demands ‘GOODNESS’ from those he delivers presents to. Have you been a good girl or boy this year? If not you may get coal. You better watch out, you better not shout, you better not cry, I’m telling you why…….Santa Claus is watching you. Kinda creepy and the pressure for goodness to get the gift you’ve been hoping for all year causes enough anxiety to power a major city!
That’s where it gets all messed up and leans a little more toward Satan Claus then Jesus. Jesus gives you THE GIFT and its not dependent on you being naughty or nice. As a matter of fact your niceness is as dirty rags to Christ. You and I are loved, just because. You and I have free access to the throne room of God and to every good and perfect gift which comes down from the Father of lights, just because He LOVES us! The us includes you and you need not do anything to receive it. Santa Claus tells you there is something you need to do to earn the gift. Much the way the enemy(Satan) would try to get you to think you somehow need to get your act together to receive forgiveness and grace. Or if you’ve received that gift from Jesus, that perhaps you should carry around guilt for the choices you’ve made in your life or the areas you’ve fallen short.
Truth is we’ve all fallen short of the Glory of God. But we are given the RIGHTEOUSNESS of CHRIST, just because. Just because LOVE came down on Christmas and the plan began to give an offering of ONE mans life in exchange for all others! The gift given just because. So today, do you think you would be willing to take a moment and be amazed that Christ came to give you the greatest gift of all? It blows me away every time I think about it, I don’t understand it, I want to argue that its not really a good plan, we should work for what we get but if your willing to just receive it, and let it get deep inside of you, the wonder of Christmas will grow each year and your heart will too. Baby Jesus came just because of WHOSE you are. You are heir to the greatest kingdom of all! Take your rightful place, its free, just because.
Merry Christmas Eve to you and yours.