Scripture: John 3:16-21
16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. 17 "Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. 20 For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. 21 But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God."
Christmas was magical growing up. Not in the sense of a magician and magic tricks, but in the awe of the events surrounding the Christmas story. Angels and unimaginable possibilities, Elizabeth pregnant and Mary’s conception, a journey that must have been dangerous that ends with a baby lying in a feeding trough where shepherds gathered to worship the newborn king Jesus. God loved me so much; God loved us so much Jesus was born. Everything that happened in that short period of time, from the first angel appearing to Mary to the shepherds worshipping Jesus in Bethlehem, was magical in the sense of wonder, awe, and impossibilities becoming possible.
Whether with snow covered ground or mild winter breezes, Christmas was a time when family and friends gathered for meals, worship, laughter and joy. Animosity was buried; we had a birthday to celebrate. And celebrate we did! We caroled in the community and worshipped on Christmas Eve. Then that night, we gathered in our home as a family and ate homemade sweet rolls and opened a gift. It was a night of wonder and awe, we were together and the world seemed to stop around us. Looking back, the greatest gift we received that night was the gift of love, when everyone seemed to love each other and enjoy our time together. The magic was God’s great love around us, and each Christmas we would embrace that love time and time again.
Dr. Dan Wiard
Director of Christian Education and Discipleship