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Thank God That Jesus Didn't Stay in That Manger!

I love this time of year. People seem to just be nicer to one another, loving one another, acts of random kindness by strangers get called out upon the news (hey guy paying people's debts, I have a few!), and watching my children's eyes light up as they open the gifts we picked for them. It's a wonderful time of year, almost magical. But once it's over, then what? Christmas can be a nice distraction from life, but we can have the joy year round, if we look to a better source than presents under a tree, Bing Crosby, or other familiar sounds and sights of the season. Sometimes, we laser-focus on the baby in the manger, which is what we SHOULD be focused on. But Jesus didn't stay in the manger, and, thank God that He didn't. Jesus is the fulfillment of every promise God made to humanity since the fall. He is the redeeming one, who put on flesh and lived as one of us, the way we should have lived, but because of the sin we inherited choose not to. That child born in the manger, who shepherds marveled at, who prophet and prophettess sang over in joy at the temple, who Magi traveled for years to find, became the man we all needed. He lived as one of us, without sin, and died the death of a sinner so that God's covenant could be fulfilled. And, just as He didn't stay in the manger, He didn't stay in the tomb, and so sin lost its victory on the cross, and death lost its sting in the tomb. It's time for us to praise Jesus the way He deserves, to give our whole hearts, not just a half-hearted attempt, to seek Him out with everything we are, and to be filled with His Holy Spirit. Let us live as Jesus lived, that we may see Him face to face, and our joy may last more than a season.

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