I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." (Mark 10:15)
This past Friday night was an ordinary December evening as the kids and I settled down to watch Sofie's favorite Christmas movie, The Polar Express. With our tummies full of hot cocoa and chocolate chip cookies and a roaring fire blazing, the mood was set for a bit of Christmas magic. Snuggled up next to Sofie I breathed in her innocence, as images of the North Pole filled her eyes with wonder and she began to imagine that such an enchanting place might truly exist.
When the movie was over, and the house was once again quiet, I pondered the significance of my daughter's naive belief in things unseen. As children, it is easy to embrace the wonders of Christmas. But, growing older somehow steals our ability to believe in that which is not immediately tangible. Our experiences and circumstances somehow grow a spirit of cynicism and doubt into our childlike faith. Still, we are reminded by our Heavenly Faither to believe. As God's children we are called to trust in things unseen. To count on things not yet experienced. To hope for that which seems impossible. We are told that truly "anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." (Mark 10:15) Our Heavenly Father asks us to simply believe with the innocence of a child. And in faith we are assured that God is big enough for all that reality offers us.
Christmas is a beautiful example of the kind of faith we are to embrace. For God left his throne to become a tiny baby, fully man and fully God. He was born to a virgin mother and birthed in the town of Bethlehem just as the prophets foretold. To believe in the holiness of Jesus Christ, is to embrace the enduring love of God. It is a story so enchanting that Shepherds and Wise Men came to worship the newborn King. And yet there is more to this story than meets the eye. For this "ordinary" baby who slept peacefully in a manger would grow to be the Savior of mankind. Mesmorized by the happenings in their midst, They followed their hearts to a place unseen to gaze upon the Messiah.
By accepting Christ and trusting in His sacrifice, we grow to comprehend the gift of salvation. Likewise, with the faith and eyes of a child of God, we begin to better understand the wonder of our Savior's birth. For the manger and the cross are wrapped together in the gift of salvation in Christ. If not for the manger, there is no Savior. If not for the Cross, there is no salvation. Lost in sin, mankind needed both the manger and the cross so that we might receive God's greatest gift. After all, there is no way we can be good enough to earn our way to Heaven. We cannot be nice enough to deserve a place with Holy God. Instead, we are offered grace through faith in the saving blood of Christ. For "though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow." (Isaiah 1:18)
Through grace, we are given an invitation to acknowledge and receive the gift of Christ and enter into God's eternal kingdom...another wondrous place beyond our imagination. So, it is with the eyes of a child that I trust in things unseen.(2Corinthians 4:18) CHRISTmas spirit is all around. It's time to BELIEVE.
Hallelujah! We praise you for the gift of Jesus Christ. What a beautiful Savior. What a glorious event, the birth of Christ, Savior for all mankind, the precious Prince of Peace. As Christ's birth draws near, we look past the emptiness of perishable things of this dying world and look instead to the eternal love you have for us demonstrated by the birth and death of Jesus.