By The Rev. Richard B. Hanna, Chaplain
A story is told of a woman who was way behind on her Christmas to-do list. So as to at least get her Christmas cards mailed before the holiday, she hurriedly bought a pack of 50 cards with an attractive Christmas design on them. Without even looking inside the cards, she quickly addressed them, stamped them, and then rushed down to the Post Office. She put the whole pile of cards into the mail slot – but decided to peek at the last one to see what the message was on the inside. She read, “A gift is on the way.”
This message is what Christmas is all about. Now, I’m sure that most of us are going to get some gifts this Christmas, some of them pretty nice. Let us remember, however, that the most important gift – the best gift – that we could ever receive is not under the Christmas Tree. The best gift is in a manger in Bethlehem.
A gift is on the way – the person and presence of Jesus Christ. The Gospel of John said it so well, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever would believe in him would not perish but have everlasting life.” And there is no better gift that we could receive.
Groping in darkness, seeking God’s will;
Caught in life’s starkness, God’s voice seemed so still.
Few were expecting that glorious night,
With starlight reflecting that marvelous sight.
Few heard the angels break into song,
Most were distracted, the time seemed so wrong.
But shepherds and Magi, the family of faith,
a stubborn inn-keeper and beasts who were safe,
caught the first glimmer of God’s holy will,
in starlight’s bright shimmer, on that night so still.
For the Word became flesh and dwells with us now,
crying in stable, with donkey and cow.
For ages we wondered, “What is God like?”
God’s answer is given this Holy Night.
May God bless us all as we celebrate this Christmas season and pray for a New Year of hope, health, joy and peace!