The Season of Christmas is not over for the church. We still have much to think about and much to celebrate. The Twelve Days of Christmas, also known as Christmastide, is celebrated in the church from December 25 through January 5. Christmas isn’t officially over until January 6 when the Feast of the Epiphany is celebrated. I heard a new Christmas Anthem that opened my heart to the reality of Christmas. It is entitled Christmas Grace, and the songwriter wrote it for her granddaughter. In it she tells of the wonder of Christ. One line in the song states:
“Grace to share our frailty, understand our fragile lot; Jesus laid aside His power to be helped, trained, and taught. To know the sting of hunger, feel the pain of grief and loss, God’s Son allowed Himself to be born for us! He traded heaven’s majesty, He left His glorious throne for wood and hay and rubble, as hell of flesh and bone. The Lord Almighty locked in a single time and place. This is Christmas Grace!” (Ruth Elaine Schram, The Lorenz Publishing Company, 2005)
You may be putting away your Christmas decorations, but it is not time to put away your Christmas lessons. Understanding Christmas grace should carry on throughout the year.
One thing I can guarantee is that if you don’t focus on the Christmas grace you will never fully conceive the grace of Christmas. John 1:14 says, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Christmas—Jesus coming to live like one of us—is full of grace.
Grace is about humility. We surrender to the wonder that God could do what we couldn’t do for ourselves by sending His Son Jesus. Grace is realizing that our very best is far from enough. Even if I have led a pretty good life, pay my taxes, and give to the poor, I’m still too far from holy.
God’s grace amazes me. He overcomes my inadequacies by offering me clemency. If God can be so generous to offer such compassion, how can I not offer this grace to others in the coming year? We won’t get enough at Christmas if we don’t get a heart that is stretched to offer greater forgiveness for those who let us down.
My Christmas lessons are not really learned until I am overwhelmed by the grace that Christmas reveals. Christmas is about the favor of God on humanity. It is an invitation to not only celebrate a birthday of a baby 2000 years ago but also to celebrate birth into the family of God. John the Evangelist learned this lesson of grace so fully that he boldly proclaimed that he was the disciple who Jesus loved. The grace of Christmas isn’t only for disciples. It is for you and me. At Christmas we celebrate that we have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. That lesson is a life transforming lesson!