This morning while sitting in a rural diner having breakfast, I watched and listened to the interaction of customers and employees. The conversations were sprinkled with laughter and began or ended with a sincere greeting of "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays."
Christmas. It's that time of year when we seem apprehended by a spirit of expectancy and goodwill. It is a brief season of optimism when things that seem impossible during the prior months of the year seem possible the closer we get to December 25th.
Several years ago, Elizabeth and I resolved to avoid the commercial pitfalls of the season and to keep Christmas simple; minimize the buying of gifts and think more in terms of the intangible. What can we give that will be more lasting? What can we do to help another in need?
Most of us are familiar with the scripture, “It is better to give than to receive”, and how true that is. However, we must also understand that it is AS we practice giving that we will ALSO receive. When we give, especially, when it is costly to us in some way, God sees and will reward. It is part of His divine economy.
Whether one chooses to acknowledge it or not, the foundation of Christmas lies in this one fact: Jesus Christ was miraculously born into this world to seek and save the lost. This plan required that he lay down his life for us. It cost Jesus everything, in order to give us everything. Above all else, Christmas is a time of MIRACULOUS INTERVENTION!
"Miracle" is a great word, defined by Webster as “a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is considered to be divine." So, how can we come and go from Christmas without experiencing something miraculous? And, more importantly, are we willing to intervene in someone's situation and become a participant in the miracle they need?
Desperate human need comes in many packages. It may be one of a practical nature: financial provision, a job, or transportation. Or, maybe relational: an estrangement with a spouse or child, an issue with a good friend that has been irreconcilable, or a loved one who needs physical healing or deliverance from an addiction that is ravaging their life.
God desires to meet these needs, but He often requires our participation, as He did with the original Christmas Miracle. Without Mary and Joseph, "the greatest story ever told" would've been "the shortest story ever told."
As we act to do what we are able, God will then act to make the impossible a reality! And remember, it just may be that your own miracle will take place as you seek the miracle for another!
Elizabeth and I pray that this Christmas 2023 will be a time during which, once again, God will marvel us with His presence and prove He is indeed Emmanuel, God WITH us!
Have a Miraculous Merry Christmas!