Christmas Eve is surely my family’s most frenzied day of the year and, in its wind down, the time we seem most surrounded by ‘full’. Full bellies, full fridge, full hearts; empty under the tree, but a floor full of goodies and trash bins crammed full of the wrap we decided was too tired to reuse. Reminding us that we are fully ‘in the world’; earthly anticipations of Traditional German food, well repeated prayers and the turn-taking of gift giving and receiving have been well met and exceeded. Church services, on this day and tomorrow, remind us of Heaven’s fulfilled promises; well met and exceeded.
“The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:9-14 (NIV)
The world was made through Him and I am joyously immersed in its celebration. Still, is it possible to be too full of the secular celebration to fully appreciate the miracle of the sacred? To become so sated with the birthday celebration that we emerge less mindful of the wonder of the birthday guest of honor? Do we ‘truly recognize Him’ for the what and who He is? It is so easy to spend more focus on the cleanup of the house then the required cleanup of our hearts, as we receive such a guest. Maybe it is more sensical to move our New Year’s resolutioning to our Christmas Eve prayers. To commit to fully receive Him, believe in His name and embrace the brokered opportunity to become children of God—on this night and for always.
Prayer: Savior Jesus, you are the gift that most matters. Help me to appreciate your fullness, as it manifests in my heart, mind and soul---now and forever, Amen.
submitted by a Chaplain John Holzhüter