You will be reading this on Christmas Eve – which may mean a lot of different things to different people. For some it is a last-minute rush to complete all the details before the big day. For others – especially those with little children – the day is a joyous exercise in managing almost magical expectations. For still others, Christmas Eve is the occasion of a long drive to get back ‘home’ for the holiday. Some will be dragging all the hidden treasures from closets and others will have had gifts under the tree for a while now. Some will spend the whole day baking – filling a home with the warm comforting scent of breads and cookies. Additional personal traditions range from night cruises to take in the local light shows to a big mug of hot chocolate and a favorite Christmas movie. A few will volunteer at soup kitchens while others brave the stores for a final bout of shopping. Some few still close out a work-day with an office party – many will join in a special worship and prayer event. Some will sing sacred carols and some will laugh at ditties about the demise of grandma as she fell under the hooves. Some will consume more alcohol than is good for them. Many will sit alone and mourn the absence of lost loved ones. We may well revel in their blessings – a healthy practice to which I am not objecting – though we may also find our miseries accentuated by the ‘joys’ of the holiday season from which we feel – excluded – which I also understand. A number of people will be shot in American cities – some will die – sadly, such tragedies do not take a yule-tide break. Millions will focus on Santa – millions more on the Christ Child. Some of us will see opportunities to make peace and some of us will see opportunities to make money. The ways in which this day will be spent exceed my capacity to describe. But wherever you are and whatever you are doing, whether the day finds you buoyed by exaltation or mired in depression – I hope you can take a moment to know this – Jesus came for you. In whatever aspects of this grand national celebration you may not feel included – or, if you are included in so many as to be a bit overwhelmed – Jesus came for you. Whether you know Him yet or not – if you once knew Him but have lost the connection, if you have heard about Him but never yet taken the time to consider what you have heard seriously – Jesus came for you. Tomorrow is Christmas and Jesus came for you.
Pastor and Author Terry Bailey, Senior Minister of Indian Run Christian Church