Well, tonight is the big night. All around us, boys and girls will find it difficult to fall asleep.
Their anticipation for Christmas is almost more than they can stand. And quite frankly, parents of small children often are just as excited.
Christmas Day truly is an exciting time. I still enjoy the pageantry and majesty of this holiday. The music, decorations, giving of gifts and all of the trappings of Christmas are special to me.
Perhaps I should have outgrown it by now. But I hope I never do. I love the wonder of Christmas.
It really wasn’t that way some 2,000 years ago. While the prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Micah and others had predicted the birth of the Messiah, most of the people did not listen carefully to their message. They really were not ready for the birth of the Messiah.
And those who listened often had wrong ideas of who the Messiah would be. No one was expecting someone like Jesus.
On that night so long ago, Joseph and Mary made their way to Bethlehem. Upon their arrival, they discovered that there was no adequate place for them to spend the night. Little did they realize that the Son of God would be born in the most unlikely of places, a stable filled with animals. That was not where the king should have been born! And yet Jesus was born in those most humble of circumstances.
It is true that no one was looking for him that night. No one was expecting him in that place. And yet we find that the shepherds soon were told of his birth by angels, and they quickly made their way to find this newborn child.
The angels sang of his birth and pointed these humble servants to Bethlehem. They found the child there and gave praise to God.
A few weeks later, Magi — often called Wise Men — arrived with gifts for the baby.
They, too, were led to find Jesus in a miraculous way. They followed a special star that led them to the place where Joseph, Mary and Jesus were staying. Their gifts simply were the way they offered worship to the newborn Savior.
We find ourselves, today, still offering worship to that same Savior.
We know his full story. He lived a perfect, sinless life, died on the cross for our sins, was raised from the dead and now resides in heaven. One day, he is coming again to bring this world to its rightful conclusion.
But until that time, we worship him. We give him glory, and we celebrate the fact that he entered our world, becoming one of us in a unique way.
That’s what Christmas is all about. That is the true wonder of Christmas. What a Savior he is. May we be careful to give him the praise and honor he is due. And may you have a wonderful, merry Christmas.