In the past three weeks, I have made fudge, snickerdoodles, chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, inside-out Oreos, and a double-batch of divinity. I have stayed up until 2:00 in the morning cleaning my house, washing table linens, and scouring my Christmas china. I have established a mid-sized tree in the corner of my living room, and shoved around other furniture to accommodate said tree. I have scoured shelves to find the perfect Christmas gift, and wrapped/re-wrapped my purchases. I have attended at least three Christmas parties, and played multiple games of "dirty-Santa."
Only today do I have a glimmer of the "Christmas spirit." I finally quieted myself to read this:
For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. (Is. 9:6-7)
Set aside the sometimes-loneliness, the busyness, and the stress of celebrating Christmas. What is left still brightly gleaming after thousands of years is that a light shined in the darkness, and the darkness did not understand. Isaiah foretold the coming of the Prince of Peace in the middle of a prophecy about terrible battle. Christmas is about a revolution heralding a Kingdom that will never end. It's about a King walking with blood-stained robes, breaking the yoke of oppression off of His people, loosing captives and bringing justice. Christmas is about a Kingdom.
God's heart has always been about His Kingdom established on earth--Emmanuel...God WITH us. The child in the manger was not His first time to walk on earth with men; instead, it was His progression toward restoring that Kingdom. When wrapping yet another Christmas tie, mug, or picture frame, we should keep in mind that the gifts He ever seeks to cultivate in us are prophecy, healing, tongues, miracles, the discerning of spirits, words of wisdom and words of knowledge. Perhaps, instead of looking for that perfect Christmas present we should concentrate our efforts on giving the gift of sight to the blind, joy to the depressed, hope to the despondant. Perhaps, instead of wishing each other "Merry Christmas" we should greet each other saying, "He shall reign!"
May this weekend remind you of a coming Kingdom, whose humble King daily bears your burdens.