Friday, December 24, 2010

"Like a kid at Christmas"

It's what we want out of Christmas - it's the "wow" factor we're aiming for with our gifts and decorating. "Like a kid at Christmas" is that look on a face of anticipation and joy and incredulousness and wonder all wrapped up in one gigantic smile and wide-open eyes.

My kids are older now so I'd forgotten how intoxicating that look can be until I was at a Cub Scout Christmas party. Santa had come and was handing out gifts to the children. There were two little girls there, siblings, and when Santa walked in you'd think they were about to explode with happiness. They looked at him, and each other, and then back at him with smiles that practically wrapped around their little heads. There were no words to describe how they were feeling and still hardly sufficient words to communicate how they looked.
It was pure magic. This was undoubtedly the highlight of their day or, from the looks of it, their lives!

For me however this party was just another box to be checked off the Christmas list of things to do.

"Next!"

I will keep checking off boxes until it is the evening of the 25th and then I'll start a new list of  year end stuff which will flow right into the list of new year resolutions and responsibilities and long term planning. Things are too busy to just stand around and be wide-eyed with adoration!

But what if, even if just for a few moments I could experience the joy of a kid at Christmas?

Can I, amid all the hustle take a moment to get lost  in a carol? To hear the story as if not for the thousandth time and to stand in sheer incredulousness and pure incomprehensible bliss that God came for me?

Can I realize that the greatest gift isn't wrapped in the fanciest ribbons and paper but instead is Almighty God wrapping Himself in skin?

He came so that He could forever be my high priest who is familiar with all that is familiar to me.
He wept.
He was tired.
He was surrounded by people needing him to do things for them.
He had boxes to check off until he reached his final objective - giving Himself as payment for my sin so that He could then turn around and offer to wrap me in robes of his righteousness.

He wore my skin so that I could be covered by His goodness.

This is the gift that is held out to me, and to us, and to all the world.

May God grant us one thing more this season; the ability to be still and accept this gift of Himself with the wide-eyed adoration it inspires and deserves...

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior which is Christ the Lord!" Luke 2

Merry Christmas!

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