Sickness woke me from my sleep. Where I intended to wake at noon, I woke four hours too soon. There is no going back to sleep, because it’s Christmas, but I am the only one awake. Sickness just won’t give me a break. So I am up, while my family sleeps. I almost feel like I have the whole house to myself, but all too soon, my family will wake and prove to me that I am not alone.
After some tea and pumpkin bread, I am sitting comfortably in my parent’s living room, being surrounded by Christmas lights and fluffy blankets. I am comfortable, but there was a time in my life when I would have felt anxious at this time of day; impatient to open my gifts, staring longingly underneath the tree, and realizing that I may have to wait all day. Now, I know I will be waiting all day, yet that doesn’t distress me. Don’t get me wrong, I love this time of year, and the gifts that it brings, but the greatest gift has nothing to do with stuff, but flesh and blood. I have my family, I have my Savior, what more could I ask for or want? Really, what more could I ask for? Nothing. Though gifts are a blessing, I already have more than I could have dared hope for, yet this reality does not seem to keep me from asking. But now that I am “grown,” I ask for other things, more specifically, for a gift of change and love. However, just like when I was a child, I have no reason to be anxious or impatient, because God knows what I have need of, and though I should never receive what I want, I will always have what I need. The greatest change and the most earth-shattering love that ever rocked my world, Jesus.
“It seems, then,” … “that the stable seen from within and the stable seen from without are two different places.”
“Yes,” … “Its inside is bigger than its outside.”
“Yes,” … “In our world too, a stable once had something inside it that was bigger than our whole world.”
(From The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis)
The shiny lights and neatly wrapped gifts sometimes distract from the simple truth: that the greatest gift was wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger; that the greatest gift was wrapped in burial clothes and laid in a tomb; that the greatest gift was raised up into Heaven and glory and will return someday for His bride… The world teaches me to fear the stable where the King lay, to walk away and never see the beautiful world within. The world teaches me that my Creator still lies in the grave, but what remains in the grave are my sins, and I have been raised into new life, just like my Savior was.
Outside of the stable, the world is crumbling and turning back into dust, yet the dust is still spitting upon, whipping, and beating the Son of God. There is no reason that dust should be alive, no earthly reason. But love has a way of transcending human reason and showing how hopeless and foolish human reason truly is. Without the love of our Savior, there would be no breath in us, no hope; but with Jesus, we have abundant life.
I live in a world that exists after the birth, death, resurrection, and ascension of the Son of God, but all too soon, every knee will bow and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord when He comes back for His followers. Though many will confess, not all will be saved, because they did not confess Him as Lord before they saw Him with their own eyes. Blessed are those who believe without seeing. (John 20:29) So, on this Christmas day, Jesus has reminded me of the preciousness of time. There is no time to sleep, and even being sick is no excuse, because there is a message of truth that needs to be told to the whole world. Yes, today’s message is that Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, was born in human flesh, but the message does not end their; that flesh was laid down for the sins of the world, and that same flesh was raised up into new life to show victory over sin and death. So, this is the Christmas song upon my heart today; Christ the Lord is Risen Today!
Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia! Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia! Sing, ye heavens, and earth, reply, Alleluia!
Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia! Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia! Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!
Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia! Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia! Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia!
Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia! Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia! Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!
Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia! Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia!
Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia! Hail the Resurrection, thou, Alleluia!
King of glory, Soul of bliss, Alleluia! Everlasting life is this, Alleluia!
Thee to know, Thy power to prove, Alleluia! Thus to sing, and thus to love, Alleluia!