Updated: Dec 25, 2018
Christmas morning 1970! I remember our tree. It was really big with lots of glass ornaments. Icicle tinsel was strung all over it like glistening silver spaghetti. Wow! What a sight to behold as I crept down the stairs. It was so early it was still dark out. The tree looked beautiful as it shimmered and sparkled with multicolored lights blinking as if in song.
As I rounded the corner, I saw it…the best Christmas gift ever! It was a bike! My mom heard me get up. She told me the bike was from my dad!
I didn’t remember my dad because I lived two thousand miles away from him. My parents divorced while I was still a baby. My mom re-married and we moved to Illinois. But here it was, a shiny new bike with a banana seat! Just what I wanted as a six-year old kid!
I really liked the bike, but all I could think about was that it was from my dad! I studied the handwriting on the tag carefully. Was it really his writing? Did he come to my house and drop it off himself, I wondered? I imagined my dad standing in my living room. I knew he really must love me to come here and do that. My dad was my hero! He still is, even though he has gone home to glory.
I think of the shepherds out in the fields when the angel of the Lord told them of the most spectacular event in human history, God born as man….
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” Luke 2:8-15
They just heard about the world’s Christmas present from God the Father! I wonder if in their minds they inspected the writings of old to see the handwriting of their heavenly Father. I wonder if they realized how much He loved them. In any case the scriptures say “ 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.” Luke 2:16 They hurried! A Savior, redeemer was born! That meant with this baby, Jesus, came great relief! No longer would they have to present offerings for the forgiveness of their sins, now Jesus would pay the price. God Himself came to earth to pay our sin debt! Of all places to be, the babe was in a manger…it was no coincident.
The word “manger” is from the Greek word, “pateomai” which means “to eat.” Some translations use the word, “feeding trough” for manger, which would be accurate. John 6:33 says,33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” So Jesus is the living bread from heaven for all who are spiritually hungry to partake of. How gracious and kind is Yahweh, the Lord! God is good! He loves you! Are you hungry for God? Are you wondering how to receive His Gift of love in Jesus Christ? Know this, if you are hungry, God Himself will feed you. That hunger is the beginnings of faith and that, my friend, is a gift from God!
Feed that hunger with the word of God! God’s word expresses Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ is God’s perfect expression of Himself! 1”In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.2 and He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made, and without Him nothing was made that has been made.…”
Hurry! Run as the shepherds did, to see Him! Peek around the corner on Christmas morning by reading God’s word. If you want to know God the Father, get to know Jesus Christ, His Son and receive the Holy Spirit. That is the only way to unwrap this perfect Gift of God which we celebrate this Christmas. May you all be blessed in the spirit with His presence. Jesus, God’s present, to you and me.
Thank you, Father, for loving us so! You are our hero! Merry Christmas to all. May you know God’s peace in Christ this Christmas and always!