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Devotion for December 1 -- "Will This Christmas Be Different?"

Advent has begun, which means we’re coming up on another Christmas. Will anything be different this Christmas from our past ones? The answer depends upon how willing you are to enter into the story, live in it, and let it be lived out in your life. Do that, and Christmas will be different. Do that, and your heart will grow in new and amazing ways as the story fills you. Do that, and you WILL TOUCH those around you with the true power of the true Christmas.

Steve Brown describes a housewife who was washing dishes in the kitchen sink one day after the children had left for school. She looked down at one of the plates. Starring at it for a longest time, she finally asked , “How many times have I washed this plate? How many times have I dried it? How many times will I wash it and dry it again?” She then set down the plate, packed a few of her belongings, and left.

That night she called home to tell her husband that she was all right, but that she just could not come home again. From time to time, over the next several weeks, she would call to see how her husband and children were doing. But she would never tell them where she was, nor accent to the pleas from her family to return.

The husband hired a detective to search for her, and after picking up a few leads, the detective tracked her down. She was in another state, living in a small apartment over a luncheonette where she had a job as a waitress. Her husband set out immediately. When he found the place where she was staying, he knocked on the door. When she saw him, she didn’t say a word. Leaving the door open, she turned around, went into the bedroom, packed up her belongings, and silently followed him out to the car. Then, in silence, he drove her back home.

Several hours later when the two of them were lying in bed, he finally spoke. He asked her, “Why didn’t you come home before? Over the phone I begged you to return. Why didn’t you come?”

The wife answered, “I heard your words, but it wasn’t until you came for me that I realized how much you cared, and how important I was to you.”

“It wasn’t until you came for me that I realized how much you cared and how important I was to you” – Christmas tells the same story, and forever answers the question of how loved, cared for and important we are to God. For he came for us, all the way from heaven.

The Gospel puts it this way: “And his name will be called Emmanuel, which means, “God with us. ... He will save his people. ... And the word of God’s love became flesh and dwelt among us.”

Christmas tells you how important you are to God. If you let that deep love fill you, and you go on to share that same depth of love with those around you, you will find that this Christmas will be very different from previous ones. Gloriously different!

~ God bless, Dan

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