Christmas amazes me more each year.
Every year, Christmas also feels more complicated. But I think that’s why I am deeply grateful for Christmas in ways I didn’t used to be.
As a kid, I heard the story of a baby in a manger without giving it too much thought. I was more concerned with my presents and preferences.
As I age, Christmas gets complicated by brokenness and disappointment and loss and conflict . . . and I feel a deep longing for something presents and traditions cannot give me.
I long for hope that outlasts the holiday season.
I long for joy that sticks around for hard times.
I long for peace that exists in all circumstances.
And for those, I must return to the baby in a manger: Jesus.
I grew up hearing frequently about a God who exchanged Heaven for the human experience. For a season, I became numb to this story. There was a time in my life where I tried to manufacture my own hope, joy, and peace.
It left me exhausted and lonely and angry and scared.
But then by God’s grace, I was able to reconnect with Jesus, who understood my human emotions, shortcomings, and heartbreak.
That’s what is so amazing about Christmas. The Christmas story claims that a perfect, holy God made himself into an imperfect, humble human baby so that we could know He understands us. So that we could know He loves us.
God loves you enough to send his only Son, Jesus, to earth as a baby.
God loves you enough to subject his Son to human limits, human pain, and even a brutal death.
God loves you enough to make a way for relationship and eternity with Him, through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.
The baby in the manger did what we could never do. He lived a perfect life, sacrificed on our behalf so imperfect people could have access to a perfect God.
That is why Christmas amazes me. The Christmas story tells me that I don’t have to try and make my way to God. God knew I could never be good enough, so He came to me. And even though I don’t have answers for the pain and complications we are currently facing, I have hope, joy, and peace I can cling to: the baby in the manger.
Merry Christmas, friends. You are loved.