Mary stared at this little baby in front of her. Lying in this cramped and dirty manger. And she pondered.
Over and over the events replayed in her mind. She cherished it all. Like most mothers do. But she knew this child wasn’t like most.
Heaven knew, too.
All of heaven knew the moment He removed His crown. The One who was in the garden when it was planted. There when the first human took his first breath. And there when broken made reason for hope.
That very One traded the glory of heaven for a dark human womb. A holy clump of cells would become the seed of the promise. A promise held long by its people.
When Mary gazed at her baby, it was God Himself in human flesh. A living, breathing Hope.
The promise kept. Hope fulfilled!
Can you imagine? A love so deep and a love so wide? A Love, who having made the world and everything in it, gave the one thing He did not create? To make right what went wrong? To restore His people to Himself?
Hope Promised. Hope Fulfilled. That is Christmas!
The Promised Hope Who came to restore that which was broken in the Garden and broken ever since, has come to restore your broken relationship with God. The very God Who created you, knows you fully. And loves you deeply. That, my friend, is a priceless gift.
Father, what a promise. What a gift! Fully known and deeply loved. A restored relationship with You. I will never fully understand everything about You, or Your plan, or Your Promise. But I accept Your gift to me: Jesus. Love come down, poured out, and laid out. For me.
Father, You are the Maker of the Promise and Keeper of the Promise. And for that, I am eternally grateful. And eternally Yours. Amen.
As you unwrap your gifts today, I pray that each one is a reminder of that first Gift of Christmas. The only perfect Gift ever given. Enjoy your gifts.
Remember the Gift and the Giver.
If you have never received—accepted—fully embraced—this Gift given for you, I pray you do. Accept the gift by trusting that the Baby in the manger was the same One Who left Heaven for you. Was poured out and broken for you; died for you but rose again and now lives with the Father. Again. Friend, Jesus did all of that to restore that which was broken in the Garden and broken ever since — broken within you.
Be restored today. Even today. Especially today!
And for those of you for whom this Christmas is hard. So very hard. I invite you to behold Him still. And then be held by Him.