It‘s Christmas Eve morning and all is quiet in our house. A fire is blazing in the woodstove, the dog is sacked out in front of it, and, although he got up an hour ago to feed the dog, build the fire, and change the baby’s diaper, my husband is back in bed with our little baby boy curled up next to him. I offered to relieve him of baby duty so he could take a shower, but he glanced down at his son sleeping peacefully by his side and said, “There’s no way I’m leaving this.”
Soon the quiet moment will pass and we will gather up our gifts and overnight bags and head out of town to enjoy Christmas with my family. We’re all staying overnight at Mom and Dad’s house (aka “Mimi & Boppy’s”). My family gets loud when we get together; lots of joking, laughing and hugging. It’s William’s first Christmas and little Mary is now three years old, the age where Christmas gets really fun. And this Christmas is special for our family because we will all be together in the house where my sister and I spent nearly every major holiday of our childhood. The house my parents just moved into was built and lived in by my grandpa and grandma. So we all associate it with warm family memories and the scent of pumpkin pie.
On top of all that family goodness, this Christmas has special meaning to me for another reason. This year I understand in a fresh way the precious extravagance of that first Christmas Gift. When I think of how tenderly Seth and I love our only son, and how fiercely we would protect him from any person who threatened to harm him, it blows my mind that God the Father was willing to give us Jesus. As immense and perfect as their love for one another, they came up with a plan to win us back, to free us from the darkness. Their love was so big and so perfect that they suffered much in order to invite us into that love.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” (John 3:16-17)
If you have ever associated Jesus Christ with condemnation and judgment, please re-read that second verse. He came to save us from condemnation.
This Christmas, I am amazed at the Gift and thankful to the Giver. Wherever you find yourself this weekend, I hope your Christmas is meaningful as you reflect on God’s extravagant love for you and all the world.