An uplifting devotion to warm your heart.
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” Luke 2:10 (NIV)
I grew up a Christmas Eve person. The most joyful parts of my family's celebration happened on that night. My brothers and I took turns studying each beautifully wrapped package under the tree, trying to guess its contents. The house was filled with the delicious aroma of Mom's special Christmas dinner: turkey, stuffing, cranberries and mashed potatoes. We set out cookies for Santa Claus, fancy Italian ones that my dad's friends sent from his old neighborhood bakery. Then, because I was the youngest, I was given the special job of placing the Baby Jesus in the manger scene by the Christmas tree.
Later, as we opened our presents, we shared the pure joy of being together as a family—laughing and oohing and ahing over the best gifts. I always seemed to get exactly what I hoped for; at least that's how I remember it. We'd stay up later than usual, but not too late, because we had to be in church in the morning. With warm memories of the night swirling in my head, I'd fall asleep knowing that Christmas Eve was the happiest night of the year.
The message of Christmas Eve with my family was simple: You are loved. Everything they did told me that. The message of Christmas for all of us is the same, God expressing how very much He loves us in one simple but miraculous act: giving us Jesus. That is good news of great joy.
Heavenly Father, once again this Christmas I've received exactly what I hoped for: my Savior come to earth. Thank You, and Merry Christmas!