Today’s Devotional is offered by Chris Redmon.
At its heart, Christmas is about children.
The holiday season, of course, is absolutely full of them: children in songs, children in churches, children in movies and on television screens—children around our fireplaces and dinner tables, children waiting expectantly for treasures under the tree.
It’s only fitting that children take center stage on Christmas Eve. The good news of the Gospel of Luke, after all, is not the arrival of a powerful king, but the birth of a tiny baby. “This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” (2:12) In the hustle and bustle of the Roman Empire, right under the nose of Emperor Augustus, God slips into the world in the form of a child in a feeding trough.
Tonight we retell the story of this child. The story is much more than information about the past. For Luke, Christmas is not just historical fact; it’s a picture of how God works—and what God calls us to—in the present. The child, helpless and humble in the manger, is a message for all of us in every generation, showing us both what God is like and who he aspires us to be. Later in the Gospel, this very same child will tell his disciples that they must become children too: “Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” (Luke 17:16-17). The infant Jesus’s total dependence and humility, then, is the greatest example of what it means follow God.
This Christmas, as we gaze upon the child in the manger and the many children in our midst—what mangers of our own are we called to? What does the “childhood” of God teach us about Him, and who does it ask us to become?
Hope to see you for Christmas Eve Candlelight and Communion at 5:30 tonight.