Hey, guess what? We’ve made it to Christmas!

If you haven’t felt the sense of anticipation for weeks or months, then you do now…. And you must definitely not be the parent of small children. While some of you have gone ahead, while others are waiting… We are going to go ahead and unwrap the gifts of Christmas together as we journey towards the manger in Bethlehem. But before we tear into the wrapping, let me ask you a question: What are you waiting for today?

Maybe you’re waiting for family to arrive. Heck, maybe you are waiting for family to leave! Maybe you’re awaiting a special gift or perhaps a late package… Maybe it’s something deeper. Maybe you are waiting for direction for your life, or for healing. Perhaps you’re waiting for the craziness of the season to be over so people can go back to normal. Maybe you’re waiting for me to stop writing.

Whatever you’re waiting for, I want to encourage you to spend a few minutes this Christmas watching and waiting for the miracle of Christmas—The arrival of the God of the universe come to earth as a baby.
There’s a great song by the singer-songwriter David Wilcox called “Miracle.” It’s a song about the risk of missing Jesus because we are waiting for a miracle—or because we think the miracle should and will look different. The song says:

“Few will choose to follow
Out of all the star invites
Most will hide safe inside
With the lantern turned up bright
Waiting for a miracle.”

So today, I want to invite you into the darkness… What? Well, you see in the darkness, we most clearly see the light of Christmas and its where we experience the gifts Jesus offers this season.
What are you waiting for tonight that could take your eyes off the coming of the Savior? What is hindering your journey to the manger in Bethlehem? What expectation are you holding that may distract you from the true depths offered in Christ? What is keeping you from seeing the miracle?

Today I invite you to experience the greatest gift of all—the gift of God made flesh in Jesus Christ. I invite you to follow. Instead of waiting for a miracle, let’s step out into the darkness and allow the light of Jesus to shine in our lives as we accept the gifts of Christmas.

Today we celebrate the baby wrapped in cloth and lying in a manger, and we know that He is the true gift of Christmas. All the other gifts of hope, love, joy, and peace come from Him. He is . . .

The HOPE bringer
LOVE come down
The JOY giver
The PEACE maker

As we have noted throughout the night, Jesus is the bringer of eternal life and relationship with God. He is the giver of life to the full, as He described in John 10:10. He is the way, the truth, and the life, as He described in John 14:6. He is everything. He is the miracle so humble that many miss it. He is the gift who entered that dark and normal night millennia ago as a fragile infant, one of us. But He is the God so loving and powerful that He willingly stretched out His arms on a cross later in life to carry our sin and shame and burden and death in order to give us a way to Himself. Jesus is the greatest gift of Christmas and of all eternity.

As we celebrate the gift of Jesus this Christmas, may we be filled with hope, love, joy, and peace so we can live life to the fullest. Here, where our Advent journey ends, a new journey begins—a journey of worship. It is our act of worship to receive the gifts of Jesus this Christmas, and we can respond by bringing our own worship to Him. Like Mary and Joseph, the shepherds, the angels, and the wise men, we rejoice at His coming and we worship Immanuel, God with us.

Pastor Adam Will is a native of Meigs County. He has been in vocational ministry since 2005. He and his wife and three children reside in his native Texas Community.

Adam Will is the Lead Pastor of Mt. Hermon United Brethren in Christ Church. The Church is located at 36411 Wickham Road, Pomeroy, Ohio. Their Sunday Worship Service is at 10:30 AM. For more information about Mt. Hermon and its ministries, check out their website at www.mounthermonub.org or find them on Facebook.