Last night just minutes before 9:00 pm as some of my boys and I were watching basketball on TV, we heard the sound of a vehicle pulling up to the house. Who comes to visit at 9:00 pm? Who wants to be visited at 9:00 pm? To our delight it was the UPS man with a delivery. That's a very welcome visitor, especially these days as gifts are being delivered. Those UPS guys sure do put in some long hours this time of year!
Christmas is the celebration of another visitor ... One who came from heaven to dwell with us, the second person of the Holy Trinity, the Son of God, Jesus Christ, born of a woman, became man, to live the life we should have lived and to die the death we should have died, who was raised from the dead to secure for us eternal life with God, who is coming again to make all things right. Many back in that first century were expecting a visitor, but didn't really like the manner in which Jesus came. They wanted Him to be a strong and powerful ruler who would lead the people to material and worldly prominence, success, dominance, and glory. Yet He came in weakness, obscurity, humility, poverty, suffering, and shame. His life and ministry was directed to those who were also weak and suffering. Yet His Kingdom was spiritual rather than material, so even the materially successful and prosperous could benefit from His Kingdom if they were poor in spirit, humble of heart, broken over their sin, acknowledging that their true riches were not of this world but were spiritual and eternal, and who confessed their utter need of and dependence upon Him and His work on the cross.
Yes, this visitor was hated by many back in His day and is still hated by many today. However, by the grace and power of God at work within His people, there are myriads who welcomed this visitor, Jesus Christ. I guess as it is with any visitor who comes into our lives and homes, our schedules get a bit disrupted, our agendas don't always play out like we planned, we may have to wait a while to take a shower due to lack of hot water, but even more welcome than the UPS guy at Christmastime is our Lord Jesus Christ who came to seek and to save that which was lost ... me ... and you!
May God's Spirit be at work in our hearts in such a way that others gladly welcome us because the love, grace, and compassion of Jesus are evident in our lives. As He has loved us, let us love others!