Christmas is quickly approaching and everyone is rushing to finish their shopping and searching high and low to find that perfect gift for their loved ones. Well, I challenge you to slow down and focus on the things that matter most this holiday season.
Today, I volunteered my services for a portrait fundraiser at a local elementary school. It was my job to photograph the students as they sat on Santa's knee and shared their wants and wishes with him. It was so magical to see their faces filled with joy and innocence, even though there was the occasional nervous, shy child or the frightened, crying baby.
But as I listened to the stories the children shared excitedly with Santa, my heart became softened and emotions began to rise as one shy, but eager third grader told Santa, " I want the other kids to stop making fun of me" and as another brave 5th grader shared, " My grandmother is sick so I would like for here to get better for Christmas."
It was these vulnerable expressions that caused me to pause and focus on the true meaning of Christmas — Jesus.
Jesus, the only Son of God, being the very likeness of God in human flesh, came to live a sinless life of humility, service, and long-suffering to repair a broken long-distance relationship between God and man. We celebrate Christmas because Christ was born to redeem mankind, willingly accepting the penalty of our sin that we may spend eternity with our Creator absent from bullies, neglect, immorality, sickness and death. He was born in a lowly manger; lived a life without blame; died a criminal's death but rose again to conquered death, hell, and the grave; and now sits highly exalted at the right hand of the Father.
Let's slow down this holiday season and give the gift of Jesus.