what was that first christmas eve like?
were You really excited? i mean, You’d been planning this whole thing since before time, and that night… it all began. were You eager with anticipation, even though You knew what was going to happen? You were sharing Your only Son with the entire world that night. Your one and only Son. the One with whom You’d shared in fellowship for an eternity already, along with the Spirit. and now human beings would experience Him in our world.
wow. the almighty Creator of the universe, zooming into earth humbling Himself in the form of a tiny, helpless baby. that’s crazy.
did Your Son’s ordained crucifixion come to mind? the fact that He came to the earth in order to die? did that somehow lessen your joy? or deepen it, knowing that in His death and resurrection Your promises would be fulfilled? did it delight You to be keeping the pact you made with abraham and his children? with moses, and david?
does it sadden You when santa gets more praise? or when You see selfishness during the christmas season? are You confused when people see Immanuel and decide that He must not have been enough, that there must be something they have to do in order to receive Your gift? did it grieve you to know that people would profane His name and use it to commit atrocities?
You loved Jesus perfectly. did You have any reservations sharing Him with a world of people who wouldn’t ever be able to reciprocate that kind of love? a world full of broken and sinful people, one in which pain and suffering are known and commonplace?
then again, it was that perfect love that inspired You to send Him. You so loved the world that You sent Your one and only Son, so that whoever believes in Him might not perish, but have eternal life. that same fellowship You share with Your Son and Spirit, You desire for us. that’s the kind of love that surpasses all human understanding, that laughs in the face of human logic, that kindly but firmly disregards the human tendency towards legalism. it’s not a love that can be earned.
and it all culminated on that christmas night. so the night before… what thoughts were crossing Your mind? did You wonder what it was like for Jesus in the womb? were You guiding mary and joseph, making sure all the rooms would be full so that Your Son’s human life would have the humblest of beginnings? did you dip into time so you could anticipate the moment?
were You thinking of specific children? were You thinking of me?
are You smiling even now, thinking about those that will come to know You in this new year? that must be fun. all the gifts You have yet to give, all the opportunities you have yet to present. all the relationships You have yet to initiate. all Your children You will continue to help grow. those in which You promise to complete the good works You have started.
all because of love.
thank you, God, for that love. that love that moved into action, not stopping at a feeling or with words, perfect though they would have been. may the life i live be in response to Your love. just like Jesus’ was, as he lay wrapped in a rough blanket, nestled in a feeding trough.
i celebrate the day
that You were born to die,
so i could one day
pray to You to save my life.