Christmas is my favorite time of year (pretty sure that Buddy the Elf was modeled after me), so it’s easy for me to come up with what Christmas means to me. It’s fun. It’s full of better food and time off. I get to see my family more. I get presents! I get to sing more. I was singing along to Christmas carols while walking at Wal-Mart this evening. People smile more. The bell ringers make me chuckle. We get to make a new sign and take our Christmas picture. And that’s all just surface stuff. It’s also the big thing. Jesus came and saved His people from their sins! I was saved from my sins. I get to be friends with God.
But what about God? What does He get for Christmas? What does Christmas mean to God?
I believe God would say, “I get to be with them.”
That’s what Christmas meant and means to Him. His Christmas gift is a people that would be His. “He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.” Titus 2:14 (NLT) When I was a kid I would have a hard time going to bed on Christmas Eve. I didn’t think Santa would be there. I just wanted to go open up the presents and get the surprises over with. As soon as my eyes opened Christmas morning I’d run to the living room only to find that I had to wait as Nate woke up and for Dad to shower slowly. And then I grew up. Who am I kidding? I still do this, and the more I study scripture the more I realize that God does too.
God gets excited and not impatient but definitely eager and in a hurry. From the Old to New Testaments God has been in a hurry to open His Christmas presents. He wants to be with us. He wants us to speak to Him, to listen to Him, to just sit with Him. He wants our attention. While Israel was in the desert God asked Moses to build a tent of meeting. The moment he finished building it “The cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.” On the day of Pentecost the disciples were all together and “suddenly” the Holy Spirit filled them. And this is the Nativity, the First Noel. In the fullness of time God came to be with us. That is, He came as soon as He could, as soon as everything was ready.
So Merry Christmas, God! I’m so glad you get to open your presents. It makes me happy to imagine your smiles as we all sing about you and talk to you. Thanks for being in a hurry. Thanks for getting up as early as possible and coming to rescue us.