The night before Christmas. A young pregnant mother rode into an inhospitable town, packed with punchy, census-drawn people, none connected by anything but a ruler’s edict. Food, lodging, a place to rest, not to be found. The offering of a stable finally given.
The night before Christmas. Homes filled with loved ones, packed with celebration-drawn people, connected by everything from tradition, flavors, sounds, memories, and a King’s arrival. Food, homes, places to feast, for some to be found. The partaking of plenty hungrily taken.
The night before Christmas. Hearts burdened by suffering, packed with memories, regrets, words unspoken, disconnected from moments of merriment except to a King’s love. Soul-food, shelter in the shadow of His wings, in Him only to be found. The yearning of brokenness starkly shaken.
The night before Christmas. Joy from a child’s heart. Presents and packages, topped with a bow and sparkling lights dancing across expectant faces. A bow on top. Perfectly pressed corners of pretty paper wrapped around secretly chosen gifts. Topped, some with a shiny, synthetic bow, others carefully hand-crafted. All filled with something someone wants or needs. Hoping the recipient will be happy in the opening. Joyful in the giving and receiving. What do we really want or need?
The night before Christmas. All of heaven expectant. God knowing the Gift. God showing His Grace. God giving His Best. God sending His Own. God sharing His Truth.
‘By myself I have sworn; from my mouth has gone out in righteousness a word that shall not return: “To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear allegiance.”’ Isaiah 45:23
Known from the beginning, told centuries before He came. Ancient of Days sent His Own. A King’s sacrifice.
The night before Christmas – a King’s arrival, a King’s love, a King’s sacrifice – all too great to understand, breaking down brokenness with His steadfast love.
The night before Christmas, consider the King.
“who though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore, God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:6-11
To the One who gave Everything, my gift is to bow. Before His Majesty, my King. He left glory to suffer, to experience humanity, to carry my broken sinfulness, to sweat blood, to allow every sin to be nailed into His hands, His feet, for His side to be driven through with a soldier’s spear, to bow His head and cry, “It is finished.”
The night before Christmas. Bow.