On Saturday, I spent the day putting up Christmas decorations while listening to Christmas music. As I untangled vintage, green garland and carefully wrapped it in little, white Christmas lights, I found myself singing along to familiar Christmas songs that played from my computer. I couldn't help but anticipate spending a joyous Christmas with my family. Wouldn't it be nice if all of our adult children came home this year?
My seven-year-old son was in a very cheerful mood. As he read his bible, he kept entering the living room to share his new discoveries about scripture. December hadn't even arrived yet. Still, I was already feeling the warmth of good cheer. What joyful hope of seeing everyone together again!
On Sunday morning, I spent my normal quiet time with God. But, when I opened my bible and the pages landed on Luke Chapter 19, I felt my heart begin to stir. As usual, I read the entire chapter. First, I read the about the conversion of Zaccheaus, the tax collector. Next, I read about the parable of the noble man and his servants. Finally, I read how Christ grieved over the city of Jerusalem.
I was surprised that the portion of the chapter that most caught my attention was the final seven verses. Unfamiliar with these verses, I took the time to read scripture commentary. My heart instantly cried out when I read why Jesus wept as He looked over the Holy City of Jerusalem. And, I began to feel even closer to my Lord and Savior. My mind began to wander as I pictured Jesus sitting on that mountain, looking upon the lost with tears in His eyes. Instantly, the true gift of Christmas filled my heart. I finally began to understand the gift God gave to me by sending His only son into our world. I was the lost sinner Jesus mourned for in Luke 19:41-48. Jesus came for me!
Perhaps the real reason why we see more good-will, compassion, mercy and cheer during the Christmas season, is because we recognize our own sins and failures. And in doing so, understand with humble hearts that we are not alone. Or maybe, this is simply the time of year, when we remember the Lord's soft heart towards sinners and what He was willing to go through just to save us!