She trailed along after me as I dragged out the Rubbermaid containers of Christmas decorations and must have asked 20 times if she could help hang lights, hang garland, hang stockings, hang ornaments.
She oohed and aahed over every decked hall and still periodically runs over to the Christmas tree to turn on every musical ornament—foot-tapping Snoopy who dances to Linus and Lucy, singing Muppets, a cow that moos Deck the Halls and a Pig that oinks O Christmas Tree.
Peeking into the bag of Christmas bows, ribbons and gift tags, my little one asked me an important question:
Is this my Christmas?
As we decorated, she asked the question over and over again. I knew what she was wondering. Birthdays are for just one person at a time. What if all of these decorations and the joy and excitement and the hidden presents weren’t for her at all? What if only one person celebrated the day and she was just an onlooker?
Dare she get excited or was she setting herself up for disappointment?
It was the question of a three-year-old trying to protect her own little heart.
We explained about Jesus’ birthday and my older girls walked her through the Christmas story as they played with the plastic Nativity scene (after a fight over who got to be Mary).
And then I reassured her all day long that Christmas was for the family; for every one of us there would be presents and treats and joy because we aren’t celebrating one of us at all. We are celebrating Him, the birth of a Savior who came so we could live.
We might take the inclusiveness of salvation for granted at times. Salvation is for everyone. Sure, we know.
And yet there are some asking, “Is this my salvation? Is this for me? Is it only for those who grew up in the church, only for those who are generally good people, only for those who know all the Christian lingo?”
Even in the early days of the church, people asked that question. I’m a woman, I’m a Samaritan, I’m a murderer, I’m a persecuter, I’m a betrayer, I’m a Gentile.
Surely this salvation is for others, for the good and the holy and the accepted, but not for me.
This, however, was part of the glory of the cross, that no one comes to the feet of Christ justified or worthy. We all come in need of grace. And He extends that grace to all who believe.
The first verse of the week to kick off our Christmas season is one we all know and have likely recited hundreds of times. But I invite you to look at it anew and marvel afresh that salvation through Christ is for “whoever believes.” Yes, this Christmas is for you. That’s not just a message to cherish ourselves, but to share with others, excitedly and joyously.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him (John 3:16-17).
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her upcoming book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, will be released in the Fall of 2013! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2012 Heather King