Christmas Eve...I look forward to it. Always have.
When I was a kid, Christmas Eve meant excitement, anticipation, cookies and milk for Santa, hanging the stockings...and trying to get to sleep!
There was always that 'deeper magic', though--that sense that, when I looked up and saw a really bright star in the sky, it might have been something like they saw on the night Jesus was born. This was the deeper mystery...and it touched my heart in a deeper place.
Today, Christmas Eve is still special...but for different reasons. There are new traditions--new pajamas, KCC's Christmas Eve service, Lori's special recipe cocoa and cookies. The 'deeper magic' is even more real, though--cuz now I understand it!
"...an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet:
“Look! The virgin will conceive a child!
She will give birth to a son,
and they will call him Immanuel,
which means ‘God is with us.’”
When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife...And Joseph named him Jesus.
Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose,and we have come to worship him.” (Matthew 1:21--2:2)
The mystery and magic of that night make Christmas Eve very special. Sometimes children know it's magical, but they don't yet know why. My hope and prayer is that, in the same way that their hearts are 'strangely stirred' on Christmas Eve...in the same way that mine was as a kid, their hearts will want to know more--about the REAL source of the 'magic'.
This Christmastime, may all of our responses be like those of the magi--we have come to worship Him!