I don’t know if y’all have been watching the news these past few weeks, but more than a couple of horrible things have happened. Persecutions in other countries, school shootings here in the United States, fatal car crashes, tornadoes…you name it, it’s happening. Sometimes, the world can seem so dark! These terrible things happen, and we look everywhere — anywhere — for some shred of good news, some kind of light in the darkness.
Maybe that’s why I love this icon so much.
In the darkness that our world is often shrouded in, the light of Jesus Christ shines forth, illuminating our lives and giving us hope. This is why Christ is given the title “Emmanuel”. He is truly “God with us” in the midst of our busy and crazy lives, in the midst of the suffering that we go through. He is God incarnate, the One who came down from Heaven and became like us in all things but sin so that He could bring the light of His divine love into our world that so desperately needs His light.
Christmas is the time of year that we give gifts to other people. God gave the gift of His Son to humanity, the greatest gift that we could ever receive. So what, then, can we give God in return on this day when we especially remember this divine gift?
Nothing less than the gift of yourself will suffice.
“But wait just a second!” you might say. “I’m not good enough! There must be something else — something BETTER — that I can give to God.”
I read a very interesting blog post the other day, and I’d like to share a little bit of it with you. In this post, the author wrote this:
“Finally, when we look into our hearts, we know we are imperfect. Yet it was in an imperfect place that The Lord was born. When we see the manger, let’s remember that we are very much like that, and the Lord wants to be born in us.”
YOUR soul is the manger. Too often, though, our souls are like the inns in Bethlehem. We’re too busy and worried about other things. Who has time and space for God?! I’m guilty of this. I rush around doing a million things at once, but I can’t even take five seconds to simply be quiet with my Creator, to silently praise and thank Him in my heart.
But you know what? Even though I fill my days with a bunch of activities, I find that at the end of a day without taking time for God, my life feels horribly empty. I don’t want to be like the inns! I want my heart and soul to be like the manger, welcoming my Lord and giving Him a place to rest, a place to be loved and praised. Let’s all try to do that on this Christmas day. Just take ten minutes (or longer) and be silent. Welcome Christ into your heart, into your soul, and take some time to just be silent and thank Him for the gift of Himself. There is nothing you could receive that could even come close to the gift that God gave the world on that first Christmas.
May you all have a Merry and Blessed Christmas!