It was probably the last vacation the four of us took together - my dad, mom, brother and I. We were actually staying not too far from where I live now - in a beautiful cabin in the mountains of Tennessee. It was Christmas Eve and everyone had gone to sleep. I was laying there, trying to sleep when I knew I had to get up and write. I got up, got pen and paper and I'll never forget the moment this just poured out of me. I didn't even feel like I was writing it but like I was writing what someone else was saying. Every scripture and every reference just flowed right out of me.
I can't believe it's been twelve years since that Christmas Eve. So much life has happened between then and now. But I somehow find myself on another Christmas Eve in these same mountains in a quiet house, but now with my husband and son - my own family. I've been thinking about these words for a few days and wanted to share them.
Maverick is at an age where he's starting to understand Christmas and the anticipation and wonder of it all. This week I took several moments and talked to him about Jesus and why we celebrate Christmas. For the first time I could tell he was really listening and trying to comprehend it. He would ask questions and bring it up later and want me to tell the story again. I didn't sugar coat any of it or try to make it make sense to his little 3 year old mind. I just told the truth. That Jesus is God, he came to this earth to save us, he was killed and died on a cross, but he lived again and wants us to live with him forever. The truth doesn't need to be downplayed. It doesn't need to be sugar coated.
I love Christmas - every single thing about it. But I do really love taking the extra moments to remember what this time is about. So here is a thing I wrote twelve years ago about the One who this season is all about:
Genesis 1 gives an account of creation. The beginning of time as we know it and the creation of heaven, earth, animals, and people. Colossians 1:15 explains how everything was created through Jesus. He existed before all else and he rules over all things. Before the Bible, before the Old Testament even speaks of him, before man could give him a name, he was the Creator of all things and ruled over everything. He was with God. He was God.
He was there through the lives of Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Isaac, Joseph, David, and Solomon. He was giving the words to the prophets Samuel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Malachi, and Joel.
We often think of Jesus’ beginning as the time he entered history, when he became a part of history. We fail to realize he created and ruled over history. That is what makes his entrance into humankind so unique, so humbling.
He lowered himself. He gave up his rights, his authority. He gave it all up to become fully man, to enter this world physically as a baby to a young virgin girl and a humble carpenter. The one who “made thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world” (Col. 1:16) was now “wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger because there was no room for him” in the seen world (Luke 2:6).
He was human.
He ate. He drank. He cried. He laughed. He traveled. He had brothers, sisters, and friends.
But he also turned water into wine. Walked on water. Gave the sick their health back. Healed the cripple. Healed the blind man’s eyes and the deaf man’s ears. He raised the dead and told adulterous women to “go and sin no more.”
And he was rejected.
He lived. And he died.
Because he knew we would continue in our sin. Because he knew we needed to be saved. Because he wanted all people to live with him for eternity. Because he loves us that much.
“He was led like a lamb to the slaughter” (Isaiah 53:7). He was bruised, whipped, crushed, pierced. He wasn’t even recognizable as a man.
The One who created and ruled the earth, whose birth seemed unfit and humble enough, was now dying the most shameful, painful death.
Not fit for a king. Not fit for love. Not fit for a Savior.
And though evil had thought it won… While Satan believed he was tasting victory…
Death could not hold him down. Like he had done to others, he himself would not tolerate the grave. And for awhile more, he still chose to stay on earth and do “many other things” and “if they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written.” (John 21:23)
And now we know who he is. What he is like. What he was willing to do for us. What love looks like…
But there is still yet to be another victory. Another victory for this man who is now…
“…wearing a long robe with a gold sash across his chest. His head and hair white like wool, as white as snow. And his eyes like flames of fire. His feet like polished bronze refined in a furnace, and his voice thunder like mighty ocean waves. Seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp two edged sword from his mouth. And his face like the sun in all its brilliance.” (Revelation 1:13-16)
He has returned to his throne and “he is coming soon” with a “reward to repay all people according to their deeds.” He is the “Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” (Revelation 22:12-13).
And to all people his Spirit says: “Come. Let anyone who hears this, Come. Let anyone who is thirsty, Come. Let anyone who desires, drink freely from the water of life.” (Revelation 22:17).
He doesn’t care who you are. He doesn’t care what you’ve done. He wants to make you His own.
And that is what Christmas really is about. It truly is about this man, this being, this ruler, God the Son named Jesus who is so much more than just a baby, so much more than just human, so much more than just his death.
No other Christmas story compares to THE Christmas story.