It is Christmas Eve; as I write this, I can clearly see my nativity scene. It is complete now. One figurine was added every day of December. There is an eclectic collection of angels, a little Precious Moments boy playing his piano, an assortment of shepherds and wise men, a variety of farm animals, definitely Joseph and Mary. Baby Jesus was added today. At the stable entrance a simple cross stands boldly for all to see. Across its arms the reminder is written that ‘God is Love.’ After 24 days of waiting, everyone has arrived to stand in awe of God in flesh.
The Christmas story unfolds on a daily basis for me. When I read the first accounts of it in the gospels of Matthew and Luke, I encounter a variety of responses to the Birth Announcement. Shock. Skepticism. Ecstasy. Determination. Awe. Reverence. Humility. Some ran; some journeyed; some exulted; some travailed. They all arrived to worship the Savior. Some came to the manger while others finally reached up to Him at the cross. All of these responses occur in my heart throughout the year.
There are days when I am running to Jesus with such joy in my heart! The awareness of my blessings reverberates in every corner of my home, and I feel that special excitement that only a newborn child can bring into the world. There are other days when the awe of Christ’s sacrifice slow me down, and I can only reflectively walk through the day as I ponder the weighty responsibility that comes with being a Christ-follower. Frequently the temporal seeks to overwhelm the eternal. At these times it requires extreme effort to remember that joy is mine and to live the victory that comes from the birth and death of my King. But whether it is with ease or struggle, I arrive at the feet of Jesus in reverence and humility: stunned that this newborn King would bear my name on that tree.
Every year is a world’s journey to Christmas. Slowly they come – some to the manger and some to the cross. But every year a few more people reach the Savior of their souls.