I got an amazing surprise a few nights ago. My brother and his family drove 850 miles to surprise us for Christmas! I heard the knock on the door around 7 pm and came down to see my niece's beautiful face in my kitchen door window... let's just say I couldn't open the door fast enough!! I was so excited, I was shaking, and crying, and just kept saying 'oh my gosh' over and over as I hugged and kissed my precious niece and nephew. What an awesome gift!!!
But it isn't even the best gift!! The best gift is the one we all got 2000 years ago, in the form of our mighty God coming to us as a tiny helpless baby wrapped in humble swaddling clothes. The journey my family made, while long and tiring, was nothing compared to the journey GOD made when HE traveled from His Heavenly throne and made His way to us. They arrived knowing that there were warm beds and a comfortable place to stay where they were welcome and loved. HE arrived knowing that He would be placed in a rough manger, in a drafty stable surrounded by animals. He came, knowing that He would eventually be rejected, betrayed, humiliated, tortured and killed. His journey to us was one of humility and love. And so much sacrifice. We often think of the sacrifice of His death, but His very life was a sacrifice of love. He sacrificed the glory and majesty of Heaven to come to us. There is no greater love than that.
After I soaked in the reality that I was in fact going to get to spend Christmas with my beloved niece and nephew (I LOVE being an Aunti!!!!) I wanted to call people and tell them. No one knew that they were making the trip, so we called our parents and grandmothers to tell them the good news. They were all so thrilled to hear that their grandchildren would be here for the holidays, that they would get to spend some time getting to know them better and making memories. My brother and his wife knew how much it would mean to us to have them close by during this holiday, that time spent together brings us closer and helps our relationship to grow stronger.
Isn't that why GOD sent us His Son? To bring us closer to Him? To help our relationship with Him grow stronger? Time spent with Him is such a gift, and we should treasure it as much and more than I am treasuring every moment with these two amazing children that have invaded my house and my heart with their sweetness. And share the good news!!! Just as I called all those I love to share the good news of the unexpected guests.... we should share the good news of the long awaited Messiah!
Amazing, loving GOD, thank you for making that long, difficult journey to us, even knowing that You wouldn't always be warmly welcomed. Please always help us to greet You with excitement and amazement at the wonder of getting to spend time with You! As I watch my kids and niece and nephew opening their presents, the tree lit, the smell of Christmas breakfast filling the house, I can't help but feel the fullness of Your love and grace. Help us always to be so filled with joy and happiness at Your nearness that we just have to spread the good news of Your arrival. I love you!!!! In JESUS' name... Amen.