It wasn’t meant to be this way. On a starry night those centuries ago when Heaven slipped, squalling, onto hay, it was silent. No impeccable nursery in coordinating colors. No beautifully appointed birthing suite, scented candles or colored lights.
In a little town called Bethlehem, the Savior of the world took his first breath in a stable mean with naught but the beasts of the field attending. Photographs could not capture the earthy smells, the chill in the air at this, the first Nativity. No Pinterest moment, the child’s birth, and no Instagram frames in sepia to be shared with a multitude of followers.
It was one of history’s two defining moments. The Eternal, wrapped in skin, shaped like a baby, invaded Earth. He came as a babe, for a fallen world, for sinful humanity, and a way was made at last to a righteous God, to the Holy of Holies. And we, his people, rejoice.
Oh, how we rejoice! And we should. Because of the babe; because of Father’s love, our sins are forgiven. We are made righteous, and we have the promise of heaven one day. This is the wildest good news a weary world could receive. There is hope for us here, and glory awaits.
This is why we celebrate Christmas. It’s a grand and glorious birthday party, the biggest one ever, for every good reason in the Book. Families celebrate birthdays together, for each child’s arrival is a precious gift.
“We’re so glad you came.” That’s what the parties and presents all say. “And you are deeply loved.” They say that, too.
How I love all the trimmings of Christmas. The lights. The greens. The fresh tree we get each year. The colors that shine and sparkle. Presents wrapped in cheer, topped with pretty bows, and over it all, the music of the season infusing joy, hope and something indefinable that quickens the heart.