Advent Devotion 24 – The Night before Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas . . . So the famous poem by Clement C. Moore begins with all of its magic. Visions of sugar plums. The clatter on the lawn. The lustre of the moon on the snow. A miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer. The prancing and pawing on the roof. St. Nick with his dimples and cherry nose. The poem is magical and is credited with making Christmas into the widespread holiday celebrated today with Santa and reindeer and stockings and all.

So, it is the eve before Christmas and, yes, children may have a hard time sleeping tonight after they put out the milk and cookies for Santa. But underlying those traditions of Santa, behind the presents and the bows, there is another Present. The gift of love given to the world by God in Jesus. There is the birth of light and hope into the world. There is the dawning of justice and peace. There is the inception of expansive community and compassion. There is nascent joy. All this and more is birthed into the world through Jesus.

Though Jesus was born some 2,000 years ago, his life continues to impact the world. His message continues to transform hearts. His teachings continue to spur compassion and justice. There is no “undoing” the effects of his life and ministry. And the power of that witness, the salvation in those teachings, the wholeness in that life path are available to us each and every day, not just at Christmas. So, really, every day is the eve of new hope and joy being born into the world with all of its magic and promise!

“Do not be afraid; for see – I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people. . .”
Luke 2:10

Prayer: We have such high expectations for Christmas. We forget that the hope and promise of this season is waiting for us each and every day. The holy day is simply a reminder of all God intends for us and for this precious world all 365 days of the year. May we expect the fulfillment of God’s hopes and dreams each and every day. Amen.

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