December is a month of extras. There’s usually extra preparation work to do at home, extra visitors, and extra expenses. Most of us get extra time off from studies or jobs. Many churches see extra people in their pews. Charities receive extra donations, even extra volunteers. We may eat and drink extra this month, and put on some extra pounds as a result.
But there is of course one bigger extra—God’s extraordinary gift. We can imagine Him, two thousand years ago, looking down on the people of the earth and thinking: They don’t seem to get it. I’ve given them guidance and instructions, but look at what a mess things have become! Look at the selfishness and misery! I need to do something extra for them … I’ll send them My Son. He’ll show them My love in action; He’ll go all the way for their sake.
And so, in the most ordinary of settings but most extraordinary of circumstances, a very special baby was born. God’s love was made manifest, and the potential for our relationship with Him took a whole new turn.
What an extraordinary Savior: “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.”1 He came to bring us peace with God and among ourselves.2 “God was pleased … through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”3
The apostle John tells of when Jesus’ followers met behind closed doors, discouraged and confused following His crucifixion. Miraculously, the risen Jesus appeared in their midst, telling them, “Peace to you!”4 The same peace is promised to us, if we allow Him into our hearts.
December might be an extra-busy month, but it’s also the month when we mark the birthday of Jesus. Don’t let this time pass us by without some special moments in the presence of the One who makes it extraordinary.
“Thank God for his Son—his Gift too wonderful for words.”5