So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. [John 1:14 (NLT)]

christmas loveToday is the Feast of Epiphany, the twelfth day of Christmas. For me, this is the day the last of Christmas is stowed away. The holiday CDs are stored in the back of the cabinet; the tree is crammed in its box and returned to the closet shelf; the ornaments, nativity scenes, and Christmas books have been packed in plastic tubs and stored in the garage; the holiday china and glassware are stacked in the laundry room cupboards; and the sparkly red placemats and table runner are tucked back in their drawers. The only reminders of Christmas are a few needles from the tree, some bits of sparkle from the holiday flower arrangements (which will elude my vacuum for weeks) and the faint aroma from a pine cone candle.

Although the outer trapping of Christmas have all but vanished, we must never let the message of Christmas depart from our lives. Christmas didn’t come in a box or on a tree; it came in a baby in a manger. Yet, Christmas isn’t about a baby; it is about a God whose greatness was reduced to a microscopic fertilized egg and born of a virgin. It is a message of love and sacrifice. God’s love for us was so great that he laid aside His divine privileges to live and die as a man. God’s love was so great He sacrificed His only son for us so that we could live! His name was Immanuel, meaning God with us. He was with us then, as a man, and he continues to be with us today as the Holy Spirit. While the outer trappings of Christmas may not return for another eleven months, be sure to keep Christmas in your lives all year long! May the spirit of Christmas be with you today and forevermore.

May you have the gladness of Christmas which is hope; The spirit of Christmas which is peace; The heart of Christmas which is love. (Ada V. Hendricks)

Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. [Philippians 2:6-11 (NLT)]