Giving and getting a few gifts at Christmas is great, but it is my aim that gifts in my family be more and more experiential. Very few in America need more stuff and needy we are not. But keeping Christ in Christmas — honoring that Jesus is indeed the Reason for the Season — is not merely about downplaying commercialism, but savoring the coming of our Savior. And I never feel completely satisfied that I’ve made good on this annual intention. We attended some very sweet services — Lessons and Carols at school, a mini-Christmas concert by a brass quintet, and a lovely, traditional, organ-laden Christmas Eve service. We read the Christmas story from Luke 2 before the opening of any presents on Christmas Eve (a tradition from my Papa, Wayne Cummins). We listened to tons of traditional and contemporary Christmas music at home and in the car in the weeks leading up to Christmas. And we counted down the days on our Advent calendar.
Yet Christmas Day snuck up again before I felt like I have truly pondered the wonder of Jesus — the Creator of the Universe, the All-Knowing, Timeless Being that took on human flesh. Human flesh! In the form of a helpless little baby, born in a lowly manger. Even though he was sinless, loving and humble, he was mistreated, hated, ridiculed and killed. But as is always the case, God redeemed what was meant for ill. Satan is never the victor; he only thinks he is. In the end, Love always wins.
Jesus’ death meant that His blessing, His redemptive work could flow “as far as the curse is found” (lyrics from Joy to the World by Isaac Watts). Far as the curse is found! Where is the curse found in your life? May the blessings of Jesus flow even there. Peace and Joy to you and yours this Christmas. In fact, Joy to the world, for the Lord has come.