There we all sat, waiting to open gifts. Two of the children just read Luke’s account of Christ’s birth. We had sung a few carols, and now we sat misty-eyed gazing at a video of my grandfather playing the piano. This man. This man we loved so much. Gone from us twelve Christmases already. Oh, how I missed him.
When he—the last of my grandparents—died, a circle of life was completed. I felt so vulnerable and unprotected from life’s brevity. Even though my grandparents all lived into their eighties, human mortality suddenly became personal. And now as my parents are in their seventies, and in-laws in their eighties, I’m even more conscious that soon another circle will close.
But then—then—it will be my turn. I can’t tell you how I long for that day. When my own circle will snap shut and I’ll get to hug my Savior. A never-let-go kind of hug.
You see, that is the gift my parents … and grandparents … and their parents … and their parents … gave me. Not just a Christ-come telling, but a Christ-infused living. Not just a doctrinal lesson, but a soul-quenching drink. Not just an awareness of God, but a walk with a Friend.
- This is the nativity for me—Immanuel, God with us.
- This is the reason the angels rejoiced—man with God reconciled.
- This is the wonder of the shepherds—peace on earth for all.
- This is the worship of the magi—bowing before the anointed King of Kings, Great High Priest, and Eternal Redeemer.
Yes, I walk this earth with dusty feet. At Christmas, I hang ornaments and fill candy dishes. I prepare the Polish dinner passed down by my in-laws: kielbasa, pierogi, horseradish beets, and poppy seed bread. I scheme and shop and wrap, and then delight as gifts are opened.
But in the quiet moments of this season, I reflect on the Gift presented to me by those circling ahead of me.
Oh, come let us adore Him.
Let’s give Him all the glory.
For He alone is worthy.
Christ the Lord.