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Christmas Advent 23: Preparing for Beauty

Christmas Advent Day 23: Preparing for Beauty

And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. (Luke 2:6-7, ESV)

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14, ESV)

“It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” by Michael Bublé is one of my favorite carols. It makes me think of all the special traditions that go along with Christmas: stockings sitting on the mantle, waiting to be filled with Christmas goodies… garland decorated with lights and ornaments trailing the staircase in the house… I love looking through the ornaments that we put up on the tree—some are fragile, some are bright and cheerful, and some are ones my brother and I made when we were kids. I also love the wrapping paper. It takes me an embarrassing amount of time to actually commit to a roll of wrapping paper because I like to imagine the final product and want to ensure that the print on the paper matches the gift tags I get. 

Another delightful thing (though rare here in North Carolina at this time of year) is a snowfall at Christmas. We’ve only had a handful of white Christmases here, but I can remember each one as clear as day. There’s excitement when we look out the window and see everything covered in white; the scene of evergreen trees topped with a little dusting of snow is simply exquisite. 

It’s easy to get caught up in these beautiful aspects of Christmas and the special traditions, but let’s not overlook the beauty found in the simplicity of the birth of the Savior. He wasn’t born in a warm hospital with a team of nurses to care for Him nor in a home equipped for the birth of a child—let alone the King of kings. He was born—to a virgin (Isaiah 7:14)—in a place designed for animals; He was placed in a manger where animals feed rather than in a comfortable crib with fluffy blankets. There was no room for Him elsewhere. No other king was born in these lowly conditions.
His purpose in coming here wasn’t to be crowned with glory and honor (as He truly deserved), but it was to live a life of service and ultimately die on the Cross. He never wavered from the plan that God had set forth. Our Savior was born that we might have peace for all eternity. I pray that we all make time to reflect on the One the Christmas celebration is all about.

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