“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
I trust by now you’ve had your fill of Thanksgiving leftovers. And now, I’m guessing that ornaments, evergreens, and sparkling lights are quickly replacing any decorative pumpkins and fall leaves. I’m excited to share that my own home has begun its holiday transformation.
December ushers in one of my very favorite seasons. Christmas has filled my heart with wonder for as long as I can remember. When we hung the lights, and holly and evergreens made their way inside our home, the joy that flickered deep within told me that this time of year was special. Christmas simply felt different than the rest of the year.
As a child I looked forward to it with great anticipation. I loved the family gatherings that accompanied Christmas, complete with caroling, special foods, and holiday smells. But nothing inspired quite as much awe as the sight of the gifts spilling out from under the tree.
Lots of extended family gathered in our home for Christmas, and large numbers of people meant a large number of gifts! Packages and ribbons beckoned our exploration, and I joined my brothers to examine the nametags, searching for the owner of each new possession. Joy would ripple through me when I found my name. This one’s for me.
And hope would rise to the surface. Perhaps this is the one I have been waiting for!
Do you remember how it felt to experience Christmas with the heart of a child, dear one? Can you recall the sensation of sugarplums dancing in your belly, a delightful mingling of anticipation and hope?
For many of us, routine has replaced much of the marvel of the holidays. And let’s be honest; the work often overshadows the wonder! Many have even lost the thrill of surprise on Christmas morning, having purchased and wrapped the gifts bearing their name beneath the tree with their own hands.
And Jesus, the One whom we gather to celebrate, is almost forgotten, worked into our festivities with brief mentions and a visit to church on Christmas Eve.
Perhaps we have been missing something.
I’d love for you to entertain this thought with me. What if Christmas still holds something worth anticipating? What if its offer of joy, hope, and wonder extends to more than just children? What if you and I could experience that child-like awe as we unwrap the gifts the Christ-child came to bring?
Consider Jesus’ words to His disciples during His earthly ministry:
He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:2-3
Do you have a child-like heart, beloved?
Jesus said that unless we approach Him with the heart of a child, we will miss His kingdom. He wasn’t just referring to the eternal kingdom He will establish when He returns. He was also warning us that we can miss the kingdom blessings we’re supposed to experience on this earth until He does.
Jesus came to the earth to draw us to Him in divine relationship and reveal the glory of what’s to come. He came so people like you and me could know Him and experience a foretaste of heaven.
Have you tasted it, dear one? You’re meant to!
What if we tried a new approach this Christmas? What if we choose to see Jesus as the all-surpassing gift scripture claims He is? What if we open our hearts to believe like little children and take a chance on believing God for more?
Let’s invite the wonder of Christmas to return! Gifts bearing your name await your attention under the tree. Jesus invites you to explore them so you can claim them as your own.
This one’s for me.
What gift do you need to open, beloved? Healing. Restoration. Redemption. Forgiveness. Reconciliation. Power. Purpose.
And Jesus said to him, “‘… All things are possible for one who believes.” Mark 9:23
‘Tis the season for believing, dear one.
Allow your heart to open with the wonder of an expectant child. Approach Jesus with hope and anticipation.
Beloved, Jesus holds the gifts you’ve been searching for all your life.