The shepherds “went with haste” (Luke 2:16) to look for the baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. I took some time this week to join them.
I thought about what it would have been like to look for Jesus, the baby an angel had told them about. So, I placed myself in their group as they hurried through Bethlehem, inquiring about a newborn baby. When they found the stable, how did they enter? What would I have done if I had been invited to join the shepherds and be with the holy family?
It only took a short moment of reflection to realize what I would have wanted to do.
I’m a mom and a grandma. I would have wanted to do the same thing I did when I first held all my “babies.” I would have been enthralled with the tiny hand of Christ. I would have placed my finger in his tiny palm and smiled with joy when his little fingers instantly wrapped around mine.
That was my moment with Christ. In my quiet meditation, I knelt at the manger and was held by the tiny hand that would one day be held to a cross, for my salvation.
For me, that is the deepest meaning of Christmas.
A quiet moment in a busy week
I have a lot to get done this week.
I’ll be at the stores buying supplies for the holiday. How many people can Costco hold?
It is a year of old traditions and some that will be new. I’m not a great cook, and now I have a “gluten-free” one to feed! But, I can cook his dishes with gratitude and love. I held his tiny hand as a baby too! It’s a great blessing to know that he will be here to hold mine one day when I need it.
The gifts are under the tree and I’ll be ready for the family to arrive. It will be a Christmas with grandkids ranging from three to almost eight years of age. There will probably be someone with a cold and another who didn’t get enough sleep. There will hopefully be enough food for everyone to find what they like. And I think I remembered to install all the batteries so those toys come alive!
As I look forward to the chaos, I’m thinking about that quiet moment with the baby Jesus. He was a three-year-old and an eight-year old too. I wonder what he liked to eat? I wonder what and who he loved to play with?
I wonder if he looked at his hands and thought about their future?
We are called to be his hands today
Last week I wrote about giving to the great needs in our country following the tornado outbreak. My heart wrenched as I saw a woman interviewed who held her face in her hands and said, “I just want to go home. But I don’t have a home anymore.” I hope you were able to give what you can to a group that will help her be “home for Christmas” next year.
As I was typing this blog post, I received a text from a friend. A forty-five-year-old Vietnamese evangelist just passed away. Debbie Tran worked to share the love of Christ with as many Americans as she could. She knew how amazing it was to live in this country and how blessed she was to have been saved through her faith in Christ.
I’m glad I can spend Christmas with my Messiah. I can’t imagine what the holiday would be like without him. I hope the Lord will continue Debbie’s ministry through many others who will do the work of evangelism. We are in a season of history that requires “all hands on deck!”
May the Lord’s presence fill your Christmas holiday
Whatever your Christmas will look like this year, I pray it will have moments for you with the presence of Christ. If you have the chance to hold a baby, think about that tiny baby in the manger and allow his hand to wrap around you.
- If you have grief, allow his hand to comfort you.
- If you have chaos, allow his hand to quiet you.
- If you have joy, allow his hand to joyfully squeeze yours.
- If you have a chance, allow his hand to guide you to give, speak, and share the story of Christmas with someone who needs it.
Know that I, and all of us at Denison Ministries, are grateful for the chance to share God thoughts with you each week. God’s word is powerful, life-changing, and perspective-giving. So, I leave you with a picture of the newborn Messiah. Don’t move on with your day until you move to the edge of the manger and give the baby Jesus a chance to wrap his tiny fingers around yours.
Scripture says, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). Jesus is Immanuel, God with us.
The tiny fist that grips us is the hand of God.
Let’s meditate on that moment this Christmas, and rejoice.