One of the things I hear people say at this time of year is, "Christmas is for children."
If by "children," these folks mean "chronologically younger human beings," which is what they usually do mean, I couldn't agree less.
I have happy memories of childhood Christmases.
But none of what I experienced around Christmas in those days can compare with the thoughts and feelings I have as I approach my sixtieth Christmas!
Whenever I think about God taking on human flesh in order to die and rise for a sinner like me, I'm overwhelmed with thankfulness and wonder.
All who receive Jesus as God, King, and Savior by faith are made children of God. So, in one sense, Christmas really is for children. As John puts it in the prologue to his gospel, "...to all who received [Christ], who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God..." (John 1:12).
By faith in Christ, I'm one of those children. And that's why, as my wife sang along with O, Holy Night in our car a few days ago, I found my eyes misting and my voice choking in thankfulness for all that God has done for an unworthy sinner like me.
I love Christmas because it reminds me that Christ loves even me!
Advent starts this coming Sunday, December 2. Advent is the season of anticipation of Christmas and anticipation of His return to the earth one day, when He will finally and fully establish His eternal kingdom. It will be a kingdom in which all who have received Christ by faith will reign with God forever.
Why not let down your guard? Make it a point to worship with the imperfect, forgiven fellowship you can find at a church somewhere close to you.
Lay aside your cynicism and defensiveness.
Lay down the sins you've allowed to define you for way too long.
Take hold of the outstretched hand of forgiveness and charity God gives to you in Jesus Christ.
You don't have to fully understand it or be able to explain it.
Just fall into the arms of the God Who loves you and let Him love you.
Let yourself be God's child.
Let Him set you free to be the joyful, grateful child He made you to be.
Let it happen this Christmas!