The Marvel of Christmas
“So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!’ So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.’ And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.”
How often in your life have you heard the term, “Christmas magic”? When we are young, it is easy to feel the “magic” of Christmas as we marvel at Christmas lights and eagerly anticipate the season of toys and gifts. However, I have heard many adults say they have a difficult time feeling the “magic” of Christmas like they used to. Sure, the festivities of the holiday are fun – but there’s just not as much “magic” anymore – perhaps because we have lost that sense of marvel.
Yet, if we examine this passage, we find that the shepherds and those who heard about Jesus’ birth experienced nothing short of marvel at their first Christmas. It is clear the shepherds and all those who heard of Christ’s birth had much to celebrate, and for good reason. The beauty of Jesus’ birth is that it marks the era of a new beginning – the beginning of the “It is finished.” (John 19:30)
Christ’s birth was the Savior coming down to be with us and set us free from the bondage of sin, loosening our chains and claiming us as His own once again – the greatest and most romantic rescue mission of all time. This birth and the destiny to follow for our beloved Savior is the greatest love story of all time, the greatest gift we could ever receive, and the most heroic and sacrificial act of all time. When we grasp this truth completely and wholly, we renew more marvel than any marvel or “Christmas magic” we have ever experienced before.
As believers, we can always feel a “magical,” marvelous feeling around Christmas when we remember the deep love our Father has for us that so intently shouts our soul’s worth to Him. Christmas “magic” does not have to go away – it is always there if we are willing to see and receive. So, this Christmas, I encourage you to reflect on your soul’s worth for the King of kings to humble Himself and leave paradise with the Father to ensure the salvation of us, weary sinners.
Maybe “Christmas magic” has been different than what we thought all along. Not only is “Christmas magic” found in reflecting on the best Gift ever, but maybe “Christmas magic” comes from finally forgiving yourself from that thing in your past that keeps weighing you down, and instead, feeling freedom because Christ has already forgiven you. Maybe “Christmas magic” comes from forgiving that person you’ve been needing to forgive, or showing extra love and attention to detail to your spouse, or calling up that old friend you’ve been meaning to reach out to. Christmas marvel is not lost when we take the time to appreciate the Gift wrapped in swaddling cloths over any gift wrapped in pretty paper.
Thank you for the gift of Jesus and sending your Son down to save us from our sins. It is the greatest gift we can receive to be reconciled to You even though we do not deserve it. I pray You help me to experience marvel this Christmas at all You have done for me, and I pray I can extend the perfect love that I feel from You to others this Christmas season. Please show me where I need a new beginning in my life, and lead me in the path You have for me. I love You, Lord and want You to feel very loved and celebrated this Christmas season. You are the King of kings and Lord of lords – all praise be to You.
In Jesus name,