It’s three days before Christmas.
Here in Thomasville, at the Open Door home office, it’s raining cats and dogs outside. It’s overcast, dreary, and wet, the perfect recipe for a day at home snuggled up watching Hallmark Christmas movies. But alas, here I am at the office, getting last minute projects finished before I head up to see family in North GA. In the background, “Noel” by Lauren Daigle and Chris Tomlin is playing. Lauren’s voice, smooth as silk and deep as the sea jolts through my four o clock blues–“Noel! Noel! Come and see what God has done! The lyrics tell us:
Come and see what God has done
The story of amazing love!
The light of the world, given for us
I did some digging around and looked up the etymology of the word noel. It goes all the way back to a Latin word nasci, which means to be born.
Christmas, Noel, that Holy Night is a cry that pierces the darkness of our world–it beckons kings and peasants with the joyous proclamation–Christ is born! The story isn’t over! It has just begun. No longer are we wanderers trekking through a meaningless existence. Because of Christ, a new chapter begins, where at last there is peace on earth. Noel! Come see what God has done. May we remind ourselves when we are broken what He has done and may we look to the future with expectation at what He WILL do.
This has been a year fraught with tragedy. It seems like every time we get on the internet, we hear of another mass shooting or terrorist threat has occurred. We are tempted to be shrouded in fear and the joy of this season is taken like a rug beneath of our feet. How can we celebrate amid such loss? How can we rejoice while we dance on eggshells around our broken families?
I say this with the utmost care and without the least bit of a patronizing spirit: we can only celebrate because of Christ, because of what He has done. Because of his supernatural, simple, earth shattering, heaven-shaking birth, we have a reason to lift our hands and remember–It. Is. Not. Over. Yet.
With the numbered days we have been given, our one job is to go tell it on the mountain, shout it from the rooftops–what God has done!
He has provided loving, Christian homes for close to 200 hundred children through the Open Door in 2015. He has allowed us to love and serve brave birthmothers all over the state this year. He has given us the opportunity to expand our reach into the nations of Poland, Serbia and Mexico, this year alone. He has filled the homes of childless parents with laughter, love, and joy through the arrival of a newborn. He has made a way for us to work with the state to facilitate foster care adoptions. The list goes on.
No matter what goes on in the world around us, or how little we feel we bring to the Christmas tree this year, we bring the one thing that will never leave us, Emmanuel, God With us.
The story is not over. Each day we are invited to open the Gift of His presence and breathe it in like oxygen. Every day of a Jesus-follower’s life is Christmas, because every day we have the invitation to commune with a God who is not etched in stone or carved of gold. He is not hidden in incense or trapped in a church, He is not dead in a tomb or hanging on a cross. He is Alive, and THAT is why we celebrate.