Tuesday, December 24, 2013
From all outward appearances, it was just an ordinary night. Shepherds slipped on their cloaks, grabbed their staffs and went to work, out in the fields. Sheep grazed. Innkeepers kept busy, filling rooms to capacity and turning away those who he could not accommodate. Mary and Joseph travelled busy roads, with a throng of others, doing what they were ordered to do -- register for the census. Cows mooed and donkeys brayed and they ate their food out of the manger trough, just like they did every day. Dogs barked and kitties purred and mothers tucked their children in to bed. The stars twinkled, breaking through the backdrop of the night sky. The wind blew.
People talked and walked and worried and laughed and cried and wondered about their lives.
It was just another night, following just another day, in the middle of just another week, part of just another year.
And then He came, unexpectedly -- at least from most of man's point of view -- in to the cold, dark, hurting, world.
He came for the lonely and the busy and the preoccupied and the forgotten.
He came for the the angry and bitter and unforgiving, and for the unforgiven.
He came for those who hurt and those who hurt others.
He came for those who lost loved ones and those who were lost themselves.
He came for those who wanted to give up hope or give up everything.
He came for the less-than-perfect and for those who thought they were perfect.
He came for those who were looking for Him and for those who never even gave Him a second -- or first -- thought.
He came for those who strived to please God and for those who thought they were so far gone that it would never be possible, anyway.
He came for those who made mistakes and for those who believed they were a mistake.
He came for the miserable and the meek.
He came for those who looked to have their act together and for those who never acted as they should.
He came for those who were broken and bleeding and brought chaos wherever they walked.
He came for the ill and the broken and the broken-hearted.
He came for those who were abused and confused and refused to believe.
He came for the neglected and the negligent.
He came for the weary and the wealthy and the poor.
He came for the restless and the resentful and for those who resisted love.
He came for those who felt purposeless and plain.
He came for the orphaned and the fatherless and the heartless and the helpless.
He came for the disabled and the abled.
He came for the ones who could not sleep because of their choices, and for those who could not get out of bed, for the same reasons.
He came for all people, all shapes, all sizes, all sorrows, all sins.
He came for people from the past and the present and the future, and for you and for me.
Sometimes I forget it, neglect it, don't believe it ~ I forget that Jesus came. When I am weary or lonely or stretched thin in the trials that the Lord allows in my life ~ I forget Jesus came. When I feel restless or ordinary or useless or like giving up ~ I forget Jesus came.
I forget or neglect or don't believe, that He came for me, so that when I am hurting and hopeless, and even when all is well, I can have hope and rest and peace in Him.
Dear reader, wherever you are today, on this Eve of Christmas, whether in warm or cold weather, whether surrounded by loved ones or all alone, whether filled with excitement and joyful anticipation of Christmas or not feeling festive at all, remember ~ Jesus came.
He came, because He loves you. Say 'yes' to Him, today. Allow Him to show you how His coming made all the difference in the world, and still does today. And take a moment to thank Him and take a moment to tell someone else, "He came."
Blessed Christmas, dear ones.