Yes, Christmas is an exciting time! So much to do and to think about; so much to prepare and plan. What expectation! What anticipation! When the day arrives, it is really exciting unwrapping a gift and looking inside. Very often we have no idea what is inside or under the paper even though we might try to guess. When I was a child, my Father would raise his present up and shake it to see if it would rattle; this only stopped when we would shout, “don’t do that, it’ll break!”. The reality of our Christmas gifts is that once you’ve looked inside, the surprise is over and eventually the initial excitement fades, the delight passes and in time, the item could even go out of fashion or sadly break. For very young children, the box or paper can be more enthralling than the toy its self as they climb in it or roll around over it!
The real message of Christmas, is to look inside a completely different kind of gift. To look inside the stable where you’ll find no sparkly wrapping, no glitter or twinkly lights, not even a Christmas tree. But what you will find is a baby named Jesus, wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger because there was no room for him at the inn. This humble birth in probably less than ideal conditions caused humble shepherds to look inside a simple dwelling place and to marvel at a small baby -’The Saviour of the World’. This precious gift to mankind still comes to us today with the promise of everlasting love; a love that points to Calvary and beyond to eternal life; a love that forgives and offers new life into a living hope through Christ Jesus. Unlike our worldly gifts, God’s love for us never perishes, never spoils and never fades! His love remains strong and steadfast and will still be there when the season changes and the New Year starts.
This Christmas, look inside the real meaning of Christmas; look inside the stable and find the manger; look inside the manger and find Jesus. Look to him as his love for you will never perish, spoil or fade.