My children each have their own nativity scenes and each one is missing baby Jesus. I have no idea where they put Him! But He will appear as a babe in each scene in the morning. The nativity story will be read and the carols sung tonight will still be singing in our hearts as the day goes on. For tonight is the night of our dear Savior's birth and tomorrow He will appear.
This Christmas season I first heard the carol, "O Holy Night" on a Wednesday sometime in November. It was my first Christmas shopping attempt. I was in Claires, an accessory store, when I heard the chorus, "Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices...." And that was exactly what I did. I couldn't help myself. I got down on my knees right there in the store as if I was looking at something on the very bottom shelf. But really it was an act of worship, an automatic response to the very fact that hope is coming to this weary world on a new and glorious morn, that divine night when Christ was born.
With knees bent, we will hear the Christmas story as my husband reads it. On bended knee we will give gifts to one another in celebration of the gift God gave to each one of us. All done underneath the golden star atop the Christmas tree, sweetly gleaming. With knees bent, I will also clean up the mess, pick up pine needles, and fold tissue paper. And the day will be over.
But the message will sing on, "Truly He taught us to love one another, His law is love and His gospel is peace." We celebrate for a season, we love for a lifetime. Jesus later said in John 13:34 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another."
When this season of giving gifts is over may we not forget Jesus' example and may we continue to give of ourselves, loving a little bit better than we did the day before.