Summary: God has given you a Christmas Present that he wants you to open BEFORE Christmas! Don’t wait!
PLEASE Open Before Christmas
What do you want for Christmas?
Just ask any member of my family. I am the hardest person in the world when it comes to Christmas presents. No, I am not a “Bah-hum-bugger”, nor am I unappreciative of what anyone gives me. I just rarely have anything that I can tell you that I want for Christmas. The only thing I can tell you that I don’t want is a box of Chocolate-covered cherries! I used to get a box of those EVERY year for Christmas from a particular aunt. And I used to like them, but I’ve just gotten one too many boxes of them. But I did get smart some 31 years ago: I married a girl who loves them!
Isn’t what we really want for Christmas what we really need?
What we really need for Christmas, God has already given!
16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
The love of God is one of the great realities of the universe, a pillar upon which the hope of the world rests. But it is a personal, intimate thing too. God does not love populations, He loves people. He loves not masses, but men. -- A. W. Tozer
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Where do you place Christmas presents until Christmas?
Do you purchase them so early that you must hide them so that they won’t be found until Christmas? Or do you put them under the tree until it spreads out so much you think you may have to cut a hole in the roof?
If your house is anything like mine, I have snoops who want to check out the presents before Christmas. They shake, rattle, and sometimes roll the presents trying to see what’s inside. If something is breakable or fragile or perishable, how do you make sure it makes it until Christmas? Wherever you put it, you want to make sure it is carefully placed so that it will be perfect for Christmas!
When God gave His Christmas Present to you, He placed your present in a very precarious place, in the heart and hands of a young lady, who was just beyond childhood herself.
21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."
In a short devotional for Christian Standard magazine, Paul Williams writes about an unusually bumpy flight he once had from Philadelphia to Long Island. Being a frequent flyer, Williams wasn’t all that concerned as the plane was batted around in the sky. Others, however, were grabbing onto their armrests or steadying themselves on the seat back in front of them. While observing the reactions of his fellow passengers, Williams took notice of one young mother caring for her baby. He watched as she "wrapped her arms around her infant and pulled the child very close. Then she dropped her chin, rested it on the back of the child’s head, and began to sing ever so quietly, ’Hush, Little Baby.’"
The moment caused him to reflect on Christmas, of all things. He writes:
Helpless fragility is the lot of the infant. Those early days leave a lasting impression on the human psyche we never really resolve. That vulnerability stays with us all of our days, reminding us of the seemingly capricious nature of things—a bitter world that does not care if we exist.
But then God came—as an infant, unable to reach out and steady himself on the seat back in front of him, fully trusting a human, fallible mother to pull him close to herself through the pitching, shaking nature of things.
What an extraordinary risk, to trust the infant of God to a frightened young girl.
1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.
2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)
3 And everyone went to his own town to register.
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.
5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,
7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.