A Wonderful Christmas

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A Wonderful Christmas

 

I wish you all a Wonderful Christmas. We think: Christmastime is wonderful. We get days off and a bonus check. Then there’s the food we get to eat, and the time we get to spend with family and friends. We get to surprise each other. Sometimes under the tree, we find just what we wanted. Yet, this year for Christmas, I wish you more.

Yes, I hope there will be feasting and plenty. I hope there’s joy and laughter. Perhaps already the parties are being planned. Perhaps the tree’s already trimmed, with gifts already wrapped and placed beneath its boughs.

But the time will finally come to unwrap these gifts and look inside. The time will come to see what your loved ones have given to you – how much they loved you and carefully planned, and lavishly spent. Sometimes a gift is so perfect, you don’t know how you got along before. You never knew how much you needed it, or how you could ever be without it.

That’s God’s gift to us, to the letter. Until it comes, we live hand to mouth, in search of happiness and fulfillment. It takes us from one gift to the next, from giving to receiving, from one buffet table to another, and from celebration to celebration, never knowing what’s truly missing or what would finally, permanently answer out need for real joy and lasting happiness. We live in uncertain times, under shadow of death, fighting off our shame and our fears as best we can.

In steps our God with the perfect Gift. It’s wrapped: not in tinsel, but in swaddling cloths. It’s boxed: not inside exquisite wrapping paper and bubble wrap, but laid in a manager and placed softly on the hay.

The time has come to receive His holiness and innocence as a pure gift, as a credit to you through faith. The time has come to receive His forgiveness for your sins as it comes through your ears, to your hearts, and the Christ Child Himself comes to dwell there.

For when God gave His Son to us. He gave Him to render the obedience we owed. When God gave His Son to us, He gave Him into death to break its power for us… to save us from sin and satan, from death and hell.

We never knew how badly in need of this we were. And if we never knew it before, I hope and pray we realize it now: as the Christ Child comes to your hearts in His Word; as the Spirit sent from heaven calls you to faith in His Name, as the Father seeks to claim His glory by your soul’s salvation.

Now that, my dear friends – that would truly be a wonderful Christmas. May our loving God graciously grant to all of us, for the sake of His dear Son, our Savior.