I completely love the Christmas season. I love shopping, I love gift giving, I love our elf on a shelf “Howie”, I love hot chocolate and twinkly lights. I BIG TIME love all of it! But this week it hit me hard: Christmas is all about the Gospel.
Sure, I’ve known this my whole life. I have made a birthday cake for Jesus since I can remember, read Luke 2 before I open any presents and know that He is the “reason for the season”. But have you ever had a moment where you know something and still feel like you are discovering it for the first time?
This year, I’ve read and heard a lot about keeping the Gospel simple. There is a whole lot of confusing stuff in the Bible. There are many verses that really good people disagree on the meanings of them. But this one essential thing God made extremely clear.
The Gospel is the news that God sent Jesus to this earth to live among us and then die to take on the punishment for our sins. Our part in this whole story is to believe and put our trust in this all-powerful, all-loving, self-sacrificing God. God who was willing to give His very self for us- wants our love and our willingness to enter a relationship with Him. God loved us, He gave us His Son to pay for our sins, We believe Him, We receive eternal life with him. (John 3:16)
While I’ve been trying to grasp the simpleness of God’s plan for all mankind this year, I was completely overlooking the simpleness of the holiday season. It’s all about a baby boy. A baby boy that was born to change the world.
I guess I should have had all these thoughts last year. Last Christmas I had a baby boy. He was tiny and cuddly and fresh. Last year I should have sat in the dim light of the Christmas tree and identified with Mary as she sat in the dim light of the stable and thought of each of us holding such a precious gift from God. That would have been such a good thought and blog to write. The thing is, it’s not hard for me to imagine looking at a sweet little baby and thinking how perfect and wonderful he is, and dreaming of the impact he will make one day. I can see Mary having those loving thoughts that first Christmas.
This year I have a little boy.
He is wiggly, dirty, and LOUD. He has a smile on his face and sparkle in his eye that melts this momma’s heart in an instant. And this week I find myself wondering, “Is this how Mary felt when she looked at Jesus?” Did Jesus make messes everywhere He went, or was he too perfect for that? My boy- he is a MESS MAKER! He amazes me how much he can get into so quickly and look so cute while he does it.
Even in the middle of the messes, when I look at him I think my heart might explode from all the love I feel for him. Could Mary and I have sat down for a cup of coffee and compared our little 1 year olds who had us wrapped around their chubby little fingers?
Sure that first Christmas was amazing and quiet and perfect. What about Jesus’ 1st birthday? That’s what I want to peek in on. I want to see Jesus getting excited over that new toy and digging in to a cake and making Mary and Joseph belly laugh as he tottered around the room. How many stories does Luke 2:40 hold in its short sentence? (There the child grew up healthy and strong. He was filled with wisdom, and God’s favor was on him.)
The reason I don’t have these answers, is because it is not important. Sure my curious mind would love to hear all the behind the scenes stories. The thing I do know for certain is: Jesus was real. He was God and He came to this earth. And this Christmas, I celebrate that!