You've made it through the longest night of the year. Unless you live in the Southern Hemisphere, in which case December 21 is the longest day of the year.
Having lived in America all my life, it's hard for me to imagine Christmas as a summer holiday. But whether it's cold or hot where you live, you have only three days left to prepare for Christmas.
Let's say you're still looking for something to give to the millionaire in your life. Business Insider suggests the world's largest tin of caviar. Its creators have made only fifty of these twenty-two-pound items. Each is about the size of a tire and costs $125,000.
Here's what I hope my wife buys me: a test drive with a different supercar every week for an entire year, for a mere $369,890. Or she could buy me my own island—Crawl Caye, located about twenty-six miles off the coast of Belize City, is available for $3.95 million. I wonder how she'll wrap it for Christmas.
It was a very different Christmas week for George Washington and his 11,000 soldiers in 1777. They set up camp at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania to prepare for what turned out to be a brutal winter. If you had seen American soldiers dying of disease and cold at the rate of twelve a day, you might not imagine their army marching out six months later to win the War for Independence.
In 1 Chronicles 28, King David tells the nation, "Of all my sons (for the Lord has given me many sons), he has chosen Solomon my son to sit on the throne of my kingdom of the Lord over Israel" (v. 5). If you'd been present when David had his affair with Bathsheba, you probably would not have picked their offspring to be God's choice as the next king.
Here's more: The Child of Christmas was the only baby to choose his ancestors, and he chose Solomon as well (Matthew 1:6). If Jesus would choose a cave for his birthplace, a feed trough for his crib, field hands for his worshipers and peasants for his parents, wouldn't he choose you? You're as welcome in his family as the wealthiest millionaire. You're as valued as the most heroic patriot. You're as forgiven as David, and as loved as those who witnessed the birth of Jesus. The cast of Christmas is open to anyone who wants to join.
Two facts follow.
One: Every person you meet today deserves your best. During these hectic days when lines are long and tempers are short, compassion is a powerful witness. Look for people today who are lonely, grieving, or stressed, and imagine them standing at the manger as the Baby smiles at them. Then do something practical to show them his love in yours.
Two: You should see yourself as the Christ of Christmas sees you. He was born for you and died for you. He'd do it all over again just for you. Find your joy in Jesus, your hope in his grace, your purpose in his providence. And you'll be empowered to share his love with those who need him most (see fact #1). Philip Yancey: "Grace teaches us that God loves because of who God is, not because of who we are."
Who does Christmas say God is?
Publication date: December 22, 2015
For more from the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture, please visit www.denisonforum.org.
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