The heavens dome different this day, the light all different.
The glory's rising—glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth, because God has left the glory of the galaxies and come down to our depths.
God is here! God is here! Christ is born to you, to you! The glad tidings are to you, to you!
It's like you can hear the beating of angel wings over Bethlehem—a whole vast host—as if the sky lifts with a light that isn't of the sun or of the stars or of this world.
Angels leaned in near the mystery so large that has become the Babe so small, and they caught Light, like catching fire.
One star hovered too close to the infinite God-become-infant and combusted bright.
And the flame of it all grazed the shepherds up on the hills, and they blazed, full of wonder, to the source—to the stable where the star seemed dim in the incarnated brilliance of the Light of the World.
God, divine Light, tabernacles himself in skin, and lights the darkness of men.
Jesus left the starry heavens to save us from our sins.
This day, this night—this is the time of the awed silence.
Now, a thousand-thousand trees dance with light.
Now, a thousand-thousand gifts carry love.
Now, at the foot of every tree, we are all only recipients of grace.
Christ, who called all things into being, gives you sun and moon and stars, the earth under you and the sky over you, and this ocean of air for every breath that fills every lung of every living thing—to you, to you, to you! We live in an ocean of grace. Gifts are our air.
And when we sinned and weren't satisfied with what God gives—as if we refused to breathe air and died—when we longed for something different, something more, something better, he came and gave us himself.
Am I enough?
Jesus, joy of man's desiring.
Love birthed himself, and births us life.
I'll take your broken heart and give you My warmed one; I'll take your broken body and give you My fresh Spirit; I'll take your burden-broken back and give you weightlessness.
Take Me? Let Me be your enough? Always now, no matter what—let Me be your enough.
You can have this as the best Christmas ever as much as you gaze into your Father's face and receive his gift.
"Only He who has experienced it can believe what the love of Jesus Christ is," whispers the pen of Bernard of Clairvaux.
A heart could burn with a love like this.
The whole of the journey, the whole of the Scriptures, is of him. "Did not our hearts burn within us?" (Luke 24:32, ESV).
This day, this night, the Light comes. Whose heart isn't kindled by this love that's a wildfire? The shepherds got angels, and were lit by the angels. Everyone else that night got shepherds and heard the news from kindled, heart-burning shepherds who went and "told everyone." When your heart burns, you're a flaming match for other hearts. A heart like this could catch the world on fire.
Christ came into the world for you—and you came into the world for him.
The world will be still tonight.
There will be lingering. Longing. We will long for this wonder to all go on. One Christmas candle will flame in the quiet. This cannot fade—none of this can ever fade. "For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given" (Isaiah 9:6, NKJV). God is with us.
God stays with us.
The Christmas candle burns hot, gives its light, gives its Light—and the world lights up, and Christmas goes on forever now.
Christ, the always Gift for all our days.
Taken from Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp Copyright © 2013. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.
Ann Voskamp is a writer with DaySpring (a division of Hallmark), a contributing editor to Laity Lodge's The High Calling, and a global advocate for the poor, traveling for Compassion International. She writes every day about everyday wonder at aholyexperience.com.
Love Catching Fire
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