Christmas Thought

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All the presents had been opened. The crumpled wrapping paper which had once concealed each gift so beautifully had been placed in a large garbage bag. The family members sat around the gift laden tree looking at each other with a wondering “what’s next” stare when it became apparent that something had caught dad’s attention. Each looked in the direction of his gaze to find the crèche setting there among the gifts. It once held the center spot under the tree, but became obscure as the gifts were placed around it, until now. Now it silently proclaimed the mystery of Christmas.
Each small figurine had been placed strategically around the manger to focus
all attention to the Christ Child figure. The silence was broken as dad
uttered softly: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God
and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all
things were made; without Him nothing was made that been made. In Him was
life and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness,
but the darkness has not
understood it.”
Dad rose from his chair beckoning with hand gestures for the other family
members to come close to him. They moved in close as he stretched out his
arms to draw them close. Everyone’s attention still riveted on the crèche he
continued softly: “He was in the world and though the world was made through
Him, the world did not recognize Him. He came to that which was His own, but
His own did not receive Him. Yet to all who received Him, to those who
believe in His Name, He gave the right to become the children of God –
Children born not of natural descent, not of human decision or a husband’s
will, but born of God. 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.”
Dad’s eyes filled with tears painfully aware that in the same way that the
crèche had been pushed aside for the other things, so had the truth of
Christmas been pushed aside for he and his family. He slowly bowed his head
and prayed aloud. “Gracious Heavenly Father, we do receive The Word now. We confess that we have allowed other things to crowd Him out. Forgive us. We do believe and in the Name of Jesus receive You now. Make Your dwelling in us Jesus. Illuminate us with Your light. Make us Your own Father. We are
Yours!”
The family had now formed into a circle hugging one another and spoke with
one voice, “Amen.” As they released from the circle there was a wonderful
glow in their faces that the gift opening had not brought. Their was a
fullness of life that the things had not engendered. This household had done
more than celebrate Christmas – they experienced Him.
The gift giving and receiving has its place, but let us all be sure that He
remains in the center – in the center of Christmas and of our lives
individually and collectively. “Yet to all who received Him, to those who
believe in His Name, He gave the right to become the children of God –
Children born not of natural descent, not of human decision or a husband
will, but born of God.”

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