As the calendar changes to December, once again our focus shifts to the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season. With three little ones of my own, the conversation in our home naturally turns to the gifts that they hope to find wrapped under the tree on Christmas morning. They are excited at the possibility of receiving something they desire, and my father’s heart for them is excited to bless them in that way. But I am struck by how the giving of physical gifts to my children utterly pales in comparison to the gift that the Father has given to me, and to the whole world, in the birth of His Son. Nothing compares to the love He has lavished on us.
Our desire for Him is in the core of our being, a desire that God Himself put there when we were formed. It is the desire to love and to be loved. To know and be known. To be in relationship with the Creator and Lover of our souls. This deep longing of humanity was met in the birth of the Son of God, who would show us the Father and, even more, make a way for us to approach Him without shame or condemnation. It may sound cliché and over used, but if we can pause this season and fix our eyes on the baby in the manger, we will be overwhelmed by this truth — Jesus is truly the most precious Gift.P.S. You may have noticed that we are using different country numbers than we have in the past (e.g., WPM # 4). This is because we have updated the numbers on our new 2019 World Prayer Map. You can download your free copy of the updated map at at everyhome.org/prayer
We want open hands and open hearts to receive this Gift, but we also want open hands and open hearts to give this Gift away. Today, there are families, in apartments and huts and every kind of home you can imagine, who are waiting for the gift of the Gospel. The Christmas season is a prime opportunity to proclaim this “good news of great joy that will be for all the people,” and your prayers undergird those who are carrying this message. As Paul asked the Church in Thessalonica to pray that the Word of the Lord would run swiftly and be glorified, let us pray today that the word of Jesus’ birth and life and death and resurrection would spread to the far corners of our earth and would warm our own hearts anew.