Leave Christ in the Story
It has become a Christmas Eve tradition to read the story of Jesus’ birth at our annual family gathering. Since we had two energetic four-year-old boys at last year’s celebration, I decided to tweak our tradition a bit and read the Christmas story from a preschool book. This was a special book to the boys; it was a lift-the-flap book. As many of you know who have children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews of your own, lift-a-flap stories and the surprises that await little fingers under the flap are extra special.
We made our way through several pages of the book, each boy taking a turn lifting a flap to reveal the angel Gabriel and animals in the stable. When we got to the flap that lifted to reveal the baby Jesus in the manger, a small tussle broke out between the two boys vying to see who could lift this flap. In the struggle, they both grasped the baby Jesus cutout and ripped him right from Mary’s arms! How ironic. Inadvertently, these boys had removed baby Jesus entirely from the “Christmas Story.”
How many times have we done the same thing during this most festive time of year? In our mad rush to buy gifts for others and juggle our schedules to attend every Christmas party, we often rip God’s real gift to us right out of our celebrations. Let us remember Jesus’ words in John 10:28 – “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.” And that is the most wonderful gift of all. We must be ever careful to leave God’s precious gift to us in all of our holiday celebrations.