As our annual tradition goes, we set up our Christmas tree the Sunday after Thanksgiving. We had a fun afternoon fluffing the branches of the boxed tree, adding some new tinsel and going through the little ornaments the kids have hand crafted over the years. Finally placing the shimmery Silver Star on top of the tree, that has been with us since our first Christmas as a married couple when we majorly over spent on Christmas decorations. After dinner we heard a few chuckles coming from under the tree. “You have some presents already” shouted one of the kids. My husband and I walked over and what we found was so precious.
After raiding the ornaments box that also houses my gift wrapping supplies, the three of them had wrapped themselves up like presents. “Our three little gifts,” they called themselves. Our girls were disguised as presents. One with present bows stuck all over her and the other with red ribbon and string tied around her waist. Our son had used his favorite Star Wars blanket to wrap his tall self up to lay under the tree. As we began opening our “presents”, the Lord whispered to me what I already know to be true: these three little souls are the beautiful gifts from Him that money could never buy.
Similarly over 2000 years ago there was a baby born to be the greatest gift of all. Jesus Christ was born on a cold, starry night in the dead of winter in an animal barn to Mary and Joseph. Many of us know the story by heart. Imagine the Savior of the world as a brand new babe, laying there in the manger in swaddling clothes- the most holy wrapping paper that ever existed. His parents in awe and probably in tears of joy at the miracle cooing before them. Knowing he was born to them yet he was the true son of God. He did not have a bow or ribbon or name tag declaring his Holy Name. He was the greatest Christmas gift there ever was . The bible tells us his more about him:
“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
Isaiah wrote these names and attributes of God 700 years before the Christ was born. Talk about a description worthy of millions of Hallmark cards. The four names given for Jesus are great examples to remember this Christmas season.
Wonderful Counselor: He hears us in our needs whether spoken out loud or silently in our hearts. When we are overwhelmed with the shopping lists or the budget is not allowing all the gifts we want to give. He also hears when we cry out for healing for a loved one who will likely spend the holidays in the hospital.
Mighty God: He is mighty in power and beyond comparison. No one is equal with God, he himself is both Creator and Sustainer of all life on earth. Maybe you’ve been praying for a Might Miracle in yours or a loved one’s life. Keep seeking the Lord .. keep praying and waiting, He is faithful to save.
Everlasting Father: Maybe your waiting for some time with your dad this Christmas or for a gift from him that may never come. You feel so very cold in your heart toward him even though it may be warm outside (75 degrees if your here in Texas). God being a” Father to the Fatherless” Psalm 68:5, is a title I know full well. He has been there for me whether I acknowledged him or not, while I lived my life away from knowing my biological father. A wound that has been inflicted on so many children throughout the world. Allow him to bring this healing to you through his gift of Jesus this Christmas. He is not just a decent or good father.. He is the Perfect Father full of love, mercy and forgiveness which you will find through a relationship with Him.
Prince of Peace: For many Families the holidays are anything but peaceful. So I would like to remind all that Jesus himself is our Peace. We do not need to look to other people, gifts, status or money, to bring our peace and satisfaction during the holidays and year round. Jesus himself is our peace and we allow his peace and love to reign in our hearts so we can share it with others around us. I am sure a lot of us are doing these things already but it is still a great reminder. Give this season: gifts to the toy drive for families in need, out of the blessings that God has blessed you with. Make some time to help a single parent family hang up Christmas lights down the street, bake cookies for your unkind coworkers.
All of these outward actions bring glory to God because these actions point back to the grace we bear because of the peace He brings.
So Remember during the upcoming holiday season and while you’re out shopping for presents and attending Christmas parties or packing those large suitcases in the minivan, make sure to not get overwhelmed! Send up a prayer to help your heart remember the true reason for the Season: Jesus, all of the Glory of God wrapped up in flesh sent to be the savior of the world. He was born on a cold, starry night into a broken world he would one day save.