Joy (12/25/13)

shoe-box joy

Read: Zechariah 8:1-23, Revelation 16:1-21, Psalm 144:1-15, Proverbs 30:29-31

The streets of the city will be filled with boys and girls at play.
(Zechariah 8:5)

Yes, joyful are those who live like this! Joyful indeed are those whose God is the Lord.
(Psalm 144:15)

Relate: There is just something about Christmas morning that just fills the soul with joy. Growing up, most of our traditions for Christmas occurred on Christmas Eve. We would have an ornate Christmas dinner that evening. Then we kids would head out to the car while mom would start to bring out the rest of our Christmas presents that had been hidden in their room (the forbidden zone). Dad would be hustling to wrap those presents he had bought earlier that day while out with me (the procrastinators).  When they finally came out we would all head out for the Christmas Eve candlelight service. I swear time seems to warp to make this hour or so at church by far the longest hour of the year. After service we would take the long way home driving through all the cul-de-sacs to “oooh” and “aaaah” and  “Preeeeety” all the Christmas lights of our neighbors. We would get home and everyone would have their Christmas special to perform. (Nothing will ever top me rapping and the boys dancing DCTalk’s Christmas Rap) We would read the Christmas story and then finally we would get to the good part. Someone would put on the Santa Hat and start passing out the presents they bought for everyone. Person by person my haul would grow.

So if all that happens on Christmas Eve? What would I be doing on Christmas morning? Enjoying my gifts. One year it was the Ewok tree house. Another year it was the GI Joe hydrofoil. Of course there was the year we got the Nintendo. My lifelong addiction to the Civilization games started as a Christmas present. Long before the sun first started to yawn and stretch its way over the horizon, I would be up and enjoying these beautiful gifts.

React: Somewhere along the way the real meaning of Christmas started to sink in. I’m no longer much for the buying and even less for the receiving of traditional Christmas gifts these days. If you want to get me something for Christmas go here and give something in my name. I am especially partial to this one, but whatever you want to do. I’ve got almost $240 in change that I’ve collected over the year to be given in other’s names on this day. I’ve got a picture on Satyavathi on my fridge (my sponsor child) and she’ll get something for Christmas. And there’s those of you who have collected things and given them to Operation Christmas Child. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! You get it. You’ve given to someone who couldn’t possibly give anything back except for their joy.

That is exactly what Jesus gave to us. He gave us a gift that we could never possibly repay. When He came to earth, God… as a man… that is a gift that could never be matched. All we can do is just open it up and enjoy it. If you are a parent you know that the best part of today is to watch the joy on your children’s faces, right? Well, how much more does the Father enjoy us enjoying His gift? So let’s do it! Celebrate! Have fun. It’s Christmas and we have been given a gift far greater than anything we could ever have hoped or expected. Merry Christmas!


5 thoughts on “Joy (12/25/13)

  1. Im right with you. I used to count Christmas as successful if my present count was high. Now I count it successful if my donation count is high. We had such fun stuffing our Christmas Child shoeboxes, more fun than I will have watching presents opening today.

  2. Pingback: CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS | Citizen Tom

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