How do we get back to the day Jesus was born? It should be easy with all the social media apps for our phones and the internet. It seems to me we should just push a button and all of a sudden we would find ourselves in the middle of nowhere, gazing upon a newborn child, laying in straw and surrounded by his mother, father, some shepherds and an angel or two, just for good measure.
I looked for that app. It wasn’t there. I searched the internet too and nothing was found that could transport me back to that day more than 2000 years ago. I guess you might wonder why in the world would I want to go back to Bethlehem in the first place? Well, I like to be there (anywhere) when things happen. And if I were able to be there when Jesus was born, I’m sure it would have a profound effect on my life. And your life too. This would be the only church in town that had a pastor who was there when Jesus was born.
Silly isn’t it? How strange. It isn’t gonna happen! Or is it? Yes, it could. But not just for me; for each and every person who loves God, trusts in Him and believes in the birth of His only Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
We see it in the faces of those who believe. Their eyes twinkle like they were the stars that hovered over the wise men who brought their greatest possessions to a newly born king. We can see it in the brightness all around us, even in the yard decorations that are often dotted with reminders of Jesus’ birth, a manger scene, or Mary and Joseph, or a simple star.
In those visual aspects of Christmas, we can journey back and rekindle in our hearts the celebration and welcoming of the King of the World. God with us. Emmanuel. It does not take a travel machine to go there. Listen to the songs of the choir or the scriptures read in church on the Lord’s Day. Hear the jingle of the bell at the Salvation Army kettle as it invites us to share. Be there when gifts are wrapped and picked up as our Christmas Project happens and we see the expressions on the faces of those who are truly blessed this Christmas.
So, won’t you come with me to Bethlehem? Let the newborn king, Jesus, the Son of God, be born in your heart once again. Renew that relationship you had with God for so long and let it grow deeper and more profound as each day of December brings us closer to the 25th. And on that day, the Day of All Days, pause amidst the gift wrappings on the floor, the food in the oven and the stress of the day; and thank God for giving us His Son, and our Savior Jesus Christ.