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December '16

“So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father's one and only Son.” —John 1:14 (NLT)

Reflection:

When I think of our Lord Jesus making “his home among us,” I’m honestly in awe. Just think of the majesty and grandeur of God, our heavenly Father, permitting his only Son to descend from heaven—to become human—on our behalf, for our benefit...to SAVE us from our sin...from ourselves. This bends my mind.

Even as a little girl, as I sat quietly next to my mother and little sister in church, while my father gave his Christmas Eve sermon, I tried and tried to understand the concept of Emmanuel, God is with us. Think of that—With us! Not looking down from on high, out of touch. Not distant at all. He became one of us (or “moved into the neighborhood” as THE MESSAGE translates John 1:14). Amazing, awe-inspiring, and oh so humbling, too.

This Christmas, as always, our extended family will gather to worship the Christ of Christmas, the Babe in the manger who was God in human flesh. We will bake the birthday cake for Jesus—it’s his day, after all!—and we will sing around the piano in four-part harmony the old, old carols we all know “by heart,” as the Amish say. We will attend candlelight service on Christmas Eve, and while singing Silent Night, our younger daughter, Janie, and I will hold hands and try not to cry. And during this blessed Advent season we will pray for the lost, and ask for healing of body, mind, and spirit for others. And we will pray for the peace of Israel.

Christmas is a priceless reminder that we can rejoice every day of the year. It is our privilege to honor this precious gift—greater than any other given on earth—because without it, where would we be? After all, the hope of eternal life comes with this most beautiful package. And, as with any gift, we either open our arms to receive or turn away.

Oh, the joy of accepting the Savior and Lord, Healer of our bodies and our broken hearts, a closer friend than even the best brother. He is the reason for our very breath, the reason we are here.

Opening my heart to Christmas with you,

Beverly Lewis