You might have noticed that we’re celebrating the birth of Jesus. The evergreen trees, the lights, the eternal circle of the wreaths, the stars, the gifts. The nativities with the beautiful baby in a manger. All tied to Jesus, His birth, His attributes.

And yet, just like babies tend to do, Jesus didn’t stay a baby forever. He grew up. He went through childhood and into His teenage years, growing in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man. I think He irritated His parents – but for once in human history, the teenager was on the right side. He continued to grow, and in adulthood He began His ministry. A few years later, He experienced the truth “It is appointed once for men to die”.

And yet, because the baby Jesus was both fully man and fully God, His death was different than our deaths will be. Because He was sinless, perfect and pure, His death is the only one that could atone for every sin, in His death on the cross. Jesus spent His life giving to others, as an example for us. And now we give gifts at Christmas, because God the Father gave Jesus as a gift to us. Let’s pray.

Heavenly Father, we would be lost if not for the light of Jesus. Possibly physically lost, as we think about all the contributions that Christians have made across the centuries. Definitely spiritually lost, without a savior. And because You loved us while we were yet sinners, You sent Jesus. Thank You for that, and help us to remember as we eat the wafer and drink the juice. In Jesus’ name, amen.