Dec 21 2010

"It's Christmas Night" by Max Lucado

 

From Max Lucado's book "God Came Near" ...

IT’S CHRISTMAS NIGHT. THE HOUSE IS QUIET. Even the crackle is gone from the fireplace. The last of the carolers appeared on the ten o’clock news. The last of the apple pie was eaten by my brother-in-law. And the last of the Christmas albums have been stored away having dutifully performed their annual rendition of chestnuts, white Christmases, and red-nosed reindeers.

It’s Christmas night.

The midnight hour has chimed and I should be asleep, but I’m awake. I’m kept awake by one stunning thought. The world was different this week. It was temporarily transformed.

The magical dust of Christmas glittered on the cheeks of humanity ever so briefly, reminding us of what is worth having and what we were intended to be. We forgot our compulsion with winning, wooing, and warring. We put away our ladders and ledgers, we hung up our stopwatches and weapons. We stepped off our race tracks and roller coasters and looked outward toward the star of Bethlehem.

It’s the season to be jolly because, more than at any other time, we think of him. More than in any other season, his name is on our lips.

And the result?

For a few precious hours, he is beheld. Christ the Lord. Those who pass the year without seeing him, suddenly see him. People who have been accustomed to using his name in vain, pause to use it in praise. Eyes, now free of the blinders of self, marvel at his majesty.

All of a sudden he’s everywhere.

In the grin of the policeman as he drives the paddy wagon full of presents to the orphanage.

In the twinkle in the eyes of the Taiwanese waiter as he tells of his upcoming Christmas trip to see his children.

In the emotion of the father who is too thankful to finish the dinner table prayer.

He’s in the tears of the mother as she welcomes home her son from overseas.

He’s in the heart of the man who spent Christmas morning on skid row giving away cold baloney sandwiches and warm wishes.

And he’s in the solemn silence of the crowd of shopping mall shoppers as the elementary school chorus sings “Away in a Manger.”

Emmanuel. He is with us. God came near.

It’s Christmas night. In a few hours the cleanup will begin—lights will come down, trees will be thrown out. Size 36 will be exchanged for size 40, eggnog will be on sale for half price. Soon life will be normal again. December’s generosity will become January’s payments and the magic will begin to fade.

But for the moment, the magic is still in the air. Maybe that’s why I’m still awake. I want to savor the spirit just a bit more. I want to pray that those who beheld him today will look for him next August. And I can’t help but linger on one fanciful thought: If he can do so much with such timid prayers lamely offered in December, how much more could he do if we thought of him every day?

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12/21/2010 5:39:45 AM
Susan United States
Susan
...amen...
12/21/2010 6:27:55 AM
Tonya United States
Tonya
I have been a believer all my life.  I was raised in the church, but stepped back in my early 20's when I thought I could conquer the world.  Always with the belief that God was with me.  Throughout my life, there was one particular time, I felt that God had played a cruel trick on me and my family and I pushed him away.  About 5 years after that, I found the right church.  I found somewhere that explained to me all the things I didn't understand as a child and I was right with God, once again, but in a truly amazing way.  I now work with the highschool students and volunteer with my church because of the love I feel while I am there, not out of duty.  Because I love the Lord and I want to genuinely share that with others.  

While we started to go regularly, I dragged my parents.  They went to take me to Sunday School when I was little and do some of the normal things in church.  But it always felt like a chore.  So when we invited them, they were reluctant.  However, once they started going, they loved it.  My parents live 2 hours from us, and they would watch it on TV every weekend. They loved it...and loved the way the Lord was changing the life of my family.

My father passed away 3 days before Thanksgiving this year.  My husband comforted me and told me that he and my dad had a conversation not more than a few months before this and my husband asked him if he had ever prayed that prayer in church asking God to come into his life.  My husband was crying when he told me that my dad had indeed told him yes.

As I have stated before, I have always believed in God, sometimes, not liked him so much, but this time, something - someone has been taken from me, I do not feel so bad.  Don't get me wrong.  I'm very sad that I will not be spending the Christmas celebration with my father, but for the first time ever...I truly understand what Christmas is...was...and always has been.

Christmas is the day our Lord and Savior was born to save us all from the evils of the world.  Even though, my father will be truly missed by many, he is with our Father in Heaven because of this special day.  This year, we are going to party and serve the Lord like no other day...but...it won't be just this day.

I have made it a commitment to myself and my family and friends that I will be more present with them all and stay in better contact.  My father was one of the nicest, friendliest people anyone would ever meet.  He never met a stranger.  I wished I could be more like him, but that...is just what I want to do.  I want to give more.  I have promised God and my dad that I will always carry a smile and be nice to people.  

This passage made me just need to tell my story.  Thank you for all you do...and I wish you the most blessed Christmas season!  May God watch over you and love you!

Tonya =o)
12/21/2010 7:13:51 AM
Jesika United States
Jesika
How much I was blessed to hear Lisa read elements from this selection as I exited off a busy Chicago freeway and onto the road that leads me to work each day. My eyes filled with tears as I thought of this, Emmanuel God is with me. He is with us, daily, through every task, we have His full arms for support. I just praise Him! I will continue to praise Him and thank Him for being with us even as the eggnog disappears (boo hoo) from the shelf. He is Risen, Hallelujah, we are free from the bondage of life because He has made us free!
If that isn't reason for joy in the season, what could be?
12/21/2010 9:55:19 AM
leesa dunn United States
leesa dunn
BEAUTIFUL!
12/21/2010 3:20:02 PM
Erika United States
Erika
So true and beautifully put. The magic of the christmas season and love for our Lord Jesus should be experienced every day of every month. I pray that this christmas ones who do not know of Jesus and his everlasting love and forgiveness, I pray that they find him and remember the true reason for the season. God bless.
12/22/2010 8:47:13 AM
LK Shinneman (Just LK) United States
LK Shinneman (Just LK)
To Tonya,

What a beautiful story! Life is full of wonderful stories like yours and for all the K-Love listeners like you and me who have lost either one or in my case, both of their parents; it is so comforting to know that they are in heaven experiencing the eternal love and peace of God! I know for me, being present with my mother at the hour/moment of her death made me unafraid of death. It was all the proof I needed to know that she was in heaven and that there is a God and He loves us.

I think it is a shame that we as a people will go along with the crowd (even the praying crowd) when everyone else is doing it. That is why Christmas doesn’t last all year long. People quit doing it. Why can’t we make it Christmas every day of the year?

“They will know that you are my disciples by the way that you love one another.” Not just at Christmas but all year long. We can do it! Every time we extend Christmas to a stranger, we encourage someone to extend Christmas to someone else and before you know it Christmas will be VIRAL! That is my Christmas wish and a gift that would truly make me happy for all the Christmas seasons to come.

As always, may His peace be with you and yours, especially during this season of celebrating His birth…LK
12/23/2010 8:29:36 AM
Tonya United States
Tonya
LK,
Thank you for the comforting words.  I believe in what you have said.  Our world seems sometimes to forget about the important things, one being the Christ child born for us.  As Christmas passes, just remember those that are less fortunate.  I work in a homeless shelter and it seems that in this time of the year we are so overwhelmed with gifts, which is great, but the rest of the year, the few faithful servants that help give.  Others forget until it is Christmas again.  

Blessings and love to these all in this wonderful season, place and time...but let it extend to everyone in all places at all times, just and God expected it to be.

Glory to Him most high!
Tonya
12/23/2010 9:34:18 AM
LK United States
LK
Tonya,

My heart is troubled when I think of someone being homeless, especially in the winter months. It is cold here in Indianapolis. If you will contact me, 317-946-5720 my cell or LK@LKsMart.com my email.

I want LKsDeals to generate cash for every non-profit cause, all over the world!

I will personally handle the details for your homeless shelter. I will be out of the office until Monday 27th but feel free to email me.

God love you for what you do for the homeless shelter. Truly doing one of the most important things that Jesus showed us to do when He was here.

As always, may His peace be with you and yours, now and forever...LK
2/20/2011 4:11:48 PM
Jude Ecuador
Jude
Love your blog I'm going to join.
Also, any kind of chance you have more sources or reports that have about christmass? That'd be great!
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