Ten beautiful fingers and ten precious toes.... skin so soft to the touch and those first cries of life. Memories like that become seared in the hearts and minds of parents. A new babe born brings delight and joy. Life is newness and renewal. A fresh start birthed out of pain and anguish. A picture of redemption- the redemption that our Father offers to each of us.
A young mother and father entered into the small town of Bethlehem. Filled to the brim with travelers returning to their homeland for a census ordered by the ruler of that time, all of its nooks and crannies were filled to the measure. They came in search of a place to rest... to wait for the cries of new life that were all to soon coming. Their search was fruitless. No one was willing to give up their coveted position and security to risk being left out in the cold. Only one, with an ever so humble offering, was willing to help. A stable. In truth, a shelter for animals, was all that was made available to them.
Within its meagerness, stench and filth, the King of Kings came forth into this world. Wrapped in far more that swaddling clothes, He was all-immortal wrapped in humble flesh and bone. He was part of the Creator of the universe restrained by the will of the Father to become a child- dependent on the creation He had helped form. He fate sealed before His first cry- born in pain and to die in pain it was all for our redemption. All redemption is marked by pain because all true redemption begins at the birth and death of our Savior.
His birth was the beginning of redemption- MY redemption. He came for me, for you, for all humanity. How can Christmas be anything less than a celebration of that fact?
Yet, we focus on gifts, shopping, parties, snacks and decorations.... we, too, say to our precious gifted Savior, "We have no room for you this holiday." Such words may not cross our lips, but do they play out in our actions? He, alone, is CHRISTmas- our greatest undeserved gift.