So, this is Christmas.
The photo? It's me and Dad, in the living room at our house in Marathon, Iowa, in 1972. The Life magazine is there on the floor, declaring the "Joy of Christmas." Dad's tarnished gold watch is stretched onto his wrist. That's probably a pack of Pall Malls in his shirt pocket.
Those same kitschy ornaments hung on the Christmas tree by the radiator, year after blessed year. And in this one photographed moment -- one snippet in the billions of seconds that have made up my life -- I see it there: pure bliss.
All was well with the world, no matter if someone had pulled my hair or yanked my favorite toy out of my hands or made me eat another awful bite of pureed peas.
For Love had come down, and Love had sat down in his favorite chair, and Love asked me to sit on his lap.
This is Christmas.
Christmas is crawling up on the lap of your Father, by the glow of your tinseled tree, and feeling a sure and steady hand on your back.
Christmas is knowing that you didn't get everything you wanted, but exactly what you always needed.
Christmas is proof that your Father not only loves you, but He likes you.
Christmas is the jaw-dropping remaking of a world, in sin and error pining, a world without hope, until He appeared. And all these years later, wherever you are right now, your very own soul feels its worth. Put your hand on your heart, and feel it beating like this right now: Jesus ... Jesus ... Jesus.
Christmas is the thrill of hope, and the weary world rejoicing, and a holy kiss from Heaven on your forehead.
Christmas is, right now, handing you the one gift that you'll never outgrow, and that you'll never exchange at a store. It's a gift that always fits because it was picked and promised for you -- "a gift the world cannot give."
Christmas is Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done -- in candlelit sanctuaries and noisy living rooms -- as it is heaven.
Christmas is here, come down for you -- for you! Christmas wants to hold you and draw you close. Because Christmas is Christ, with nail-scarred hands on your back.
This is your identity, your defense, your hope, your security. Your joy.
This is His gift, His life, for you.
Christmas is about the Christ child, but it's also about Christ's child. That child, my friend, is you. He has come into the world for you.
Say yes. Grab hold of His hands. Climb up on the lap of God. Feel the warm breath of heaven on your face, the face of His beloved child --
For you are all the children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
~ Galatians 3:26
So, what's your Story? A #TellHisStory is any story that connects your story into the story of God.
You're invited to a Christmas edition of #TellHisStory right here.
Share your narratives, your poems, your Christmas Day Instagrams tagged with #TellHisStory.
Visit someone (or two) in the link-up to encourage with a comment. Then, Tweet about your posts, and the posts you visit, with the #TellHisStory hashtag.
For more details on the #TellHisStory linkup, click here.
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