by Marcia Lee Laycock
A little boy named Bobby is purported to have said - “Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.”
When I read that quote I wondered about what that little boy would hear. The laughter of his siblings, the chatter of the adults; the snoring of his grandfather asleep in his favourite chair perhaps, or the cooking preparations going on in the kitchen; the whine of a new puppy or the mechanical sounds of electronic gifts already opened?
Or perhaps that young and obviously very discerning little boy was hearing something more ethereal. Perhaps he was hearing angels singing praises to the Christ Child, or the words of the Magi as they presented their gifts. Perhaps he was hearing the booming voice of our heavenly Father announcing the arrival of his Son on this earth. Or the voice of Jesus Himself, saying, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
Those are indeed the sounds of love, a love so deep it is impossible to comprehend it. And that Love is present with us, in the room, because the Child whose birth we celebrate embodies love and gave us the greatest gift of all time, through a sacrifice performed on a cross in a tiny country in the Middle East over 2,000 years ago.
That little boy knew the secret to finding that Love. It’s a matter of shifting our focus from earthly things to things spiritual. In the rush and flurry of the Christmas season it’s easy to forget the fact that it is, in its essence, a spiritual time. It’s a time to reflect on the birth of a Saviour, a time to ponder our relationship with Him, a time to seek His forgiveness and grace.
Perhaps opening a Bible would be a good place to start, if you want to find that Love. The story is told in the very beginning of the New Testament. Matthew 1:18-23 reads: “This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about ... All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means “God with us.””
God, with us. Love, with us - in a room full of the joy of Christmas or in a homeless shelter; in a school room or an office tower; in a hospital or a grocery store; on a bus traveling across the country or a plane taking people home to their loved ones. He is always with us, everywhere.
So this Christmas, take the time to stop opening the presents. Sit back and just listen. Ponder the Christ Child.
Perhaps you too will discover that Love is, indeed, in the room.
Marcia also has two devotional books in print and has contributed to several anthologies. Her work has been endorsed by Sigmund Brouwer, Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and Mark Buchanan.
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Visit Marcia’s Website to learn more about her writing and speaking ministry.