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Luke 2:6-7 – While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. (NIV)
In late fall of the year when I was in second grade, I found out something that changed me. One of the girls on my street told me that Santa wasn't real. I ran right to my dad, and he told me that she was right. In one way, this was a relief. I had always wondered why my parents, who loved me, didn't give me Christmas gifts. Now I knew they did. More importantly, with Santa out of the way, my heart opened more fully to hearing about the Christ Child.
As things ramped up to the big day, we could hardly contain our excitement, but something was nagging at my young spirit. Amidst the tree decorating and cookie baking, I sensed more and more that Jesus was the focus in all this, or should have been. I didn't tell my parents or anyone else what I was thinking, but I felt sad a lot that Christmas, thinking that not enough attention was being paid to the Saviour.
After bedtime on Christmas Eve, I dozed fitfully until I saw the light go off under my parents' bedroom door and crept out into the living room. The streetlights, streaming in from the window, were reflected in the glass ornaments on the tree. I found my way to the television set, on top of which my mother had set out the nativity scene, and knelt down in front of it. I picked up the little baby Jesus and started to cry. "It's You, it's You, it's You. It's not Santa, it's nobody else. It's only about You. It's all about You." That was the first time I felt the presence of God. The Holy Spirit was drawing me to Jesus, the truth.
I would like to say I grew up and followed Him all my days, but sadly, I cannot. Yet through all my wayward teenage years into young adulthood, no matter what, I knew that Jesus was real. I gave my heart fully to Him when I was 23, and I'll never forget that night in front of the old television. It was a Christmas of revelation, a Christmas of truth.
Prayer: Thank You, thank You, Lord, for revealing Yourself to us! This Christmas, help us to seek You as little children, trusting You and giving our hearts to You. May we be ever mindful of Your grace and presence in this season, and all year long. We love You, Lord. Amen.
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