“He’s here, He’s here. Everybody come and see” Isabel called from the foot of the stairs, “He’s finally here!”
“Who’s here?” Papa said as he rubbed his chin and smoothed his hair which was sticking out in every direction.
“You mean he was here, don’t ya’ Sis?” Eugene said as he slid down the banister and bumped into Mama who ran from the kitchen to see the commotion.
“No! He’s here in the parlor. He’s here – just as He said!”
“Isabel dear,” Mama said softly, what do you mean?”
Isabel took Mama’s hand and ran directly to the stable. She cried out in delight as she looked into the eyes of the Baby Jesus lying in the manger. “All those years, we waited and waited and He Came!”
“Oh, Isabel dear, Jesus came almost 2000 years ago. We celebrate Christmas because He came. The carved baby in the manger is just a reminder that He came. You know that this is kind of a picture that represents Him. Something we can hold onto as we read God’s Word but it’s just an object. We mustn’t make an idol. You know this doll isn’t Jesus.”
“Yes Mama, I know that. But He came, didn’t He?” Isabel said as her eyes filled with tears. He came because He loved us, right? That’s what Eugene and Curtis said from the Bible.”
“Yes, child,” Mama said softly.
“Jesus loves me Mama and I love Jesus.”
Papa moved in closer, picked her up and held her tightly as she held Baby Jesus in her hand.
“You’re right, Isabel,” Papa said and wiped a tear from her cheek. “We love Him because He first loved us and you know what?”
Isabel shook her head from side to side.
“He’s coming again!”
“He is?” Isabel pushed back to see Papa and Mama’s faces. “Will he be in a stable?”
“No, but He will be riding on a white horse and will come as The King of King and Lord of Lords!”
“We will see Him?”
“Yes Isabel,” Mama said as she wiped the tears from Isabel’s eyes. “We talk to Him every time we pray and He speaks to us through His Word, The Bible! It is my prayer that someday you, your brothers and sisters will receive Christ as your Savior. We will live with Him forever.”
Isabel looked at the image in her hand, at her parents, and to the image again. Finally closing her eyes and said, “Jesus I love you because You first loved me. Thank you for coming! Thank you for Christmas!
“Mama,” she whispered before we look in our socks and open presents, may we sing?”
“That would be wonderful, Isabel. What shall we sing?”
“Joy to the world the Lord has come!”
What about you, friends? Is your focus on The Son of God, Jesus who gave His life for you or are you focusing on the external trappings that often draw our attention away from Him?
Christmas isn’t about the tree, the decorations, the Carols, or even the gifts.
It is about God’s love for you.
“We love Him because He first loved us.”
I John 4:19
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
For God sent not His son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved.
He who believeth in Him is not condemned: but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
Why did God send His only begotten son – knowing that He would be the sacrifice for our sin? Because He loves us.
God is Holy and cannot look upon sin and yet He loved us – even though we are sinners – and longs for us to be redeemed from the penalty of sin. This is what Jesus did for you and for me. He took the penalty of sin in His own body on the cross. He gave His life so that you and I will spend eternity in Heaven with Him.
When I first heard the Gospel in 1968, I did not immediately receive Christ as my Savior. I was a quiet child and everyone told me that I was “good.” This is not true. I am a sinner. It took me a week to realize it.
“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God:
Being justified (made upright and in right standing with God) freely by His grace (unmerited favor of God) through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”
One night, after a week of conviction that I am a sinner; I could practically see Jesus suffering, dying on the cross for my sin! In the wee hours of the morning, I got on my knees and confessed to Him that I am a sinner and asked Him to save me. Trusting completely in His redemption; He saved me. He Redeemed me. (Bought with a price – the precious shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.) Oh, what a gift He offered to me and to you!
“For the wages of sin is death; (separation from God) but the GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
So dear friends, this Christmas please look past the manger and see the Gift of God – to you! Receive it just as you would receive a gift from a loving father. It is a gift that you cannot lose and it cannot be taken away. It is yours forever!
Have a blessed Christmas!