From: T.M. Schoewe
When we were kids the statement “Christmas is coming” filled us with an excitement that was uncontrollable, that is until our parents told us to “cool it.” Now that we are what they say “grown up” it seems impossible to ever get that excited. OOFTAH! Year after year, the older we get, it seems to get a little harder to get real excited about anything the way we used to! Even the news of another Christmas seems to have lost some freshness and doesn’t seem as “stirring” as it used to be. Just the other day we mentioned to someone we saw while we were walking around the block that “Christmas is coming!” he said, “So what, I have to work!”
Tell you what! We are going to work this Christmas too! We’re going to work to not let Satan, that old serpent, the ultimate Scrooge and Grinch, steal what is our Christmas joy! One way we can do this is to try to listen to the Christmas story as though we were kids hearing it for the first time!
Yes, let’s listen again, as if it were the first time that wondrous but outrageous Word full of love sent shivers through us on hearing the angel in the heavens say to fearful and scared shepherds, “Do not be afraid! I am bringing you good news of great joy that is for all people. Today is born unto you in the town of Bethlehem your Savior. He is born unto you. He is Christ the Lord Whose name is Immanuel, which means “God with us!” (See Isaiah 7:14 and Matt. 1:23)
One reason kids love Christmas is because they know they’ll get something they like and hoped for from Dad or Mother. It tells them they are loved and makes them feel important. That is all good. But above all else, Christmas tells both young and old alike that Jesus Christ loves each of us, and that it is He, our Lord, Who loves us the most. His love is not to be overshadowed or lost in the love Mom and Dad show their children with their Christmas gifts. We should always remember Who the Big Gift Giver is and in the midst of all the celebration never forget to acknowledge and be thankful for the Greatest Gift ever, for which there is no substitute. Namely the forgiveness of sins that Jesus Christ brought into the world and freely gave each and every one of us through His birth, life, death and resurrection. This is, as many say, “the Reason for the season!”
Go and listen about the gift of Christmas! And think just for a minute not about what Jesus came to give to you, but what He has already given you! First, he’s already given you not only the forgiveness of sins but He’s given you the righteousness to be able to stand before Almighty God. He’s also given you the love you need to drive out all hate. And, having given you the honor of being called a child of God, He’s given you free of charge the gift of eternal life, an immortality that will lift you up out of your grave!
All those gifts wrapped up in those swaddling clothes (probably strips of cloth from Mary’s dress) put LOVE and real JOY in Christmas! To know this and to think about this on Christmas is to really have a Merry Christmas! Sine cera.