We live in a troubled world filled with violence, evil, poverty and disease. You never know what a day or night will bring. Anything can happen to rock our world; a phone call, kicked out of the church you’d been attending, a job lost, a medical diagnosis, a car accident, a death. When I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in December 2013, I thought my life was over, that I had no future…no hope…no choice…

I love Christmas but not in 2013, I didn’t want to decorate or participate in anything. I’m one of those OCD people that likes everything decorated and pretty and perfect. Even down to the wrapping paper and ribbons on my packages.

I love making cookies and fudge and baking bread to give to friends and neighbors and to our local police and fire stations. It’s a lot of work but I give them my very best, even if it is home made. But not this year…..I was too angry, depressed and yes, afraid.

Then this magical and miraculous time of the year comes around every December and because I was ignoring the holidays, I almost missed the magic and miraculous of the season.

As we miss out seeing the magic of Christmas and the gift where love comes down to find you no matter where you are. A hospital room, sitting on a stump in a forest, walking along the beach, the unemployment line, the doctors office, a jail cell, a concert, a soup kitchen, or baking in your own kitchen…wherever you are. And it doesn’t matter whether or not you have a perfect record or a bad record.

Love comes down year after year and God is waiting for us to make our choice to accept Him and make him a daily part of our lives. Choice is a powerful instrument with far-reaching implications. What you decide today, will impact tomorrow and other lives. He wants our hearts more than gifts and pageants and trees, decorations, cookies and stories. I’ve often wondered because we call it The Christmas Story that we have trouble believing that God’s gift to mankind is real? Or just another story?

But thanks be to God this story is real! And it’s been told many times through the ages. He’s waiting for you and he’s waiting for me to respond to his love and his gift of grace that he gave out of his love that he has for us. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, so that we can be saved.

Christmas is a gift from God our Heavenly Father; it’s his very best gift to mankind and he wants us to accept it. His is the gift that keeps on giving and we are reminded of it every year and then God waits….He waits for us to choose ….He waits for us to make the right choice.

My Pastor was preaching a few months ago and made a comment that has stuck with me. “Grace is God stooping in love. Grace always stoops.” He stoops down to our level with Grace and Love.

“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” II Corinthians‬ ‭12:9‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

May we take the time to slow down this Christmas season and on a clear night look into the heavens and listen to the angels sing….“Glory to God in the Highest,” or look to the North Star and rejoice with exceeding great joy as the wise men did all those years ago. Fill the night with your voice singing Silent Night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright…. or join me and sing
O holy night the stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new glorious morn
Fall on your knees
O hear the angels’ voices
O night divine
O night when Christ was born
O night divine o night
O night divine”

Enjoy God’s gift this year! May you have a very Merry Christmas! And a wonderfully blessed New Year!