It is late on the chilly night of the 23rd. I am bundled up in bed after spending my day updating our Kingdom Journeys website and baking cookies with my dear friends the Holdefers.
As always before Christmas I spend a day with their family, baking with gusto every kind of cookie you can think of, chocolate chip, gingerbread, buckeyes, sugar and peppermint.
My favorite part is decorating said cookies, slathering icing and sprinkles to commemorate all things Christmas. But as I added the extra embellishments a long list of worries lingered in the back of my mind. The top of which being that I am supposed to take my car into the mechanic at 7 am on Christmas Eve. My car whose battery is dead and is for some reason stuck in park, the problem with that is I am supposed to drive it to Kansas City for a conference in a couple of days. No, I don’t have any idea how to get to the mechanic and no, I don’t have any money to pay for it.
As I ice the cookies, I think that I will give them to the mechanics. Because no one wants to work on Christmas Eve, and cookies, even poorly decorated ones, might remind them why Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year.
It got me thinking what is Christmas is all about, you know, beyond all the Christmas cookies and corner Santa Clauses. And on my drive back home in my mother’s mini-van, I kept getting the chills and it had nothing to do with the cold.
No the chills were because I could feel God with me, in that old van, he was reminding me what Christmas was all about. Or maybe he was just showing me a new aspect of it.
As I drove the stars shown so brightly, almost like every cloud or distraction was sucked away into the cold air, leaving the stars luminous. And for the briefest of moments the whole sky was illuminated with a bright shooting star. Just like the star the wise men and shepherds followed all of those years ago that led them to their salvation wrapped in swaddling clothes.
It’s funny because this shooting star led me straight to Jesus too. Only it wasn’t a journey on my feet, but one in my heart. It was a journey through the desert to rest at the feet of a promise.
For thousands of years people were stuck in their own filth and brokenness, praying for a redemption that many said would never come. I can just imagine the longing they felt, as if everything inside of them groaned and cried out for hope. And then on one cold night some two thousand years ago, hope finally came in a tiny manger. The promise of salvation was met in a helpless babe.
If that’s not beautiful then I don’t know what is. God came down for us, he fulfilled his promise because of this overwhelming love he couldn’t help but give.
And with that one shooting star, God led me straight back to love and to a promise that was fulfilled.
The truth is I have no idea if my car is going to get fixed, I have no idea of how I am going to pay for it. But that isn’t the point, the point is that God keeps his promises and when he said he was going to take care of me he meant it.
I guess on top of the list of the many wonderful things about Christmas, I can add one more beautiful truth. A promise of God is always fulfilled.
So may this Christmas be filled with trust, a trust that whatever is weighing on the back of our minds will somehow work out, because God meant it when he said he was going to take care of us.
Merry Christmas everyone.