Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Why we adore the Christ child

The faint sounds of the old piano were bouncing down the stairs where we lined the hallway waiting for our cue to march in. The teacher was listening for the right notes to start our practiced processional down the long candlelit aisle. It was Christmas Eve, and our nervous voices were about to perform our well-rehearsed lines of the treasured Christmas story.

Decking the halls were the neatly placed decorations along with the smell of crisp, freshly starched white shirts, mingling with the cinnamon and evergreen scents. The boys stood wringing their hands hoping they remember their lines, the girls twirled in their new red velvet or plaid dresses, their small feet slipped into shiny, patent leather shoes.

All the endless Sunday afternoon practices were leading up to this night...the long awaited and annual production of the nativity story in front of aunts and uncles, grandmas and grandpa's, teachers, and parents. The Christmas story would come to life through the eyes of children.

As the pianist pounded the keys, my heart jumped into my throat. The notes engaged my timidity. We stood perfectly still at the entrance of the auditorium, each parental eye was trained on their own loved one. They looked at us with Christmas anticipation, I'm sure I was not the only child filled with fear and trepidation.

"Let's not forget why we are here", whispered the director. It's Christmas Eve!"

We paced down that long, poinsettia lined aisle, with our eyes trained on the stage. I didn't remember it being so large and looming in practice.

We began to sing...

O Come All Ye Faithful...
joyful and triumphant!

O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem;
Come and behold him, born the King of Angels:
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come,
Let us adore Him,
 Christ the Lord.

I really didn't take the invitation from that song to heart until later in life. In those program days, I was just making my way to the end of the program to get the brown paper bag filled with the sweet treats. Every year the bag held the predictable apple, candy cane, nuts, and some of that hard ribbon candy only grandmas would buy. Joyful chocolate never made the cut.
It wasn't until years later that I really beheld the fail-proof invitation to worship the main character of the manger story.

Jesus invites us all to worship and find joy and peace while we kneel before Him. He invites us to worship Him as King. The nativity invites everyone, the lost, the lonely, the unloved, and the forlorn, burdened and carefree.

When we lift our heads to the small Wonder in the Christmas story, we see Hope come to life.

Now every Christmas I look forward to experiencing Christ's invitation of His Presence during Christmas. It brings to life the real hope that we all have in Christ, the reason that He came to earth.  

Oh Come you faithful hearts and receive the baby King, come with child-like faith. 

Leave your worries, your problems, and your cares at the stable door. The perfect baby Jesus is born to the world. The story that is told year after year,  is a holy anthem as it makes our hearts sing, and the faithful who come, adore Him.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith… Hebrews 12:2

What can we remember about the baby Jesus? That He is God incarnate, not just a nicely dressed Christmas characters acted out by children using their best memorization skills and polite behavior.

It's a very true story that only makes this perfect miracle believable by only by faith. God made a way for something impossible. This simple story of Jesus in baby's skin makes the impossible believable.

Emmanuel, God with us. Jesus is born. Our takeaway from the manger is that He remains with us today.

Remember Christ and all that He has done for us. Comfort from the Comforter.

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD your God,the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…" Isaiah 43:2-3

Remember. God makes impossible things happen. Tomorrow ...remember that God is real and that God is with us.

Oh come, let us ADORE Him. Please come....
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