Love – The Miracle of Christmas

The rituals of Advent candles, ornaments that tell the story of Christmas, nightly prayers. None of those things were mine as a kid. I heard the story of Christmas, but the miracle of Christmas was that Santa could get into my house without a chimney.

When our oldest was six, he asked me if Santa was real. He was sitting on my lap, a sweet little kindergartener. My husband called from the other room, “We use true words in this house.”

“Santa isn’t real, but you can’t tell your friends. For some, Santa is the miracle of Christmas. For us, Jesus is the miracle of Christmas. A baby came to be with us. A baby, a little baby changed everything.”

“Babies can’t do anything,” he wondered aloud.

“They just invite us to love them. That’s the miracle of Christmas.”

That was eight years ago. Our two youngest are certain Santa is real. Kindergarten has taught them well.

They know the story of Santa. They know the story of a baby born of a virgin too.

Last week, our almost four-year-old announced out of no-where, “I love Jesus.”

“Me too,” beamed the vibrant almost six-year-old.

The big boys smiled.

Baby Jesus has captured their hearts. Together we learn day-by-day to respond in love to that baby born in a manager. It’s messy every day just like the first Christmas.

On this Christmas day, all will be bright as we pass out gifts and open them one by one. Conflicts will rise too over a new toy, the last cookie, and unmet expectations. Love will invite us to rise above. That is the miracle of Christmas. Because God is with us, we can love.

My marital offense can be laid down. My children can be my blessing and not my curse. Anything that is not love no longer must rule me because the baby in the manager, who is with me, invites me and enables me to love.

Those moments when I do not love. Jesus invites me to confession and repentance, so my sins no longer hold power over me and I am free to love anew.

The miracle of Christmas. Jesus came as a baby to be with us. Love came and changed everything for anyone who might accept Him.

Love with us. Love for us. Love more than enough for us to share.

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