Originally published Friday, 26 December 2014.

~~There are so many beautiful Christmas tales and legends out there. Stories of love and joy, of peace and reconciliation. Stories worthy of the Disney movie, a carol even, that so many become. From the grumpy Grinch, Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, to the beautiful story of the Nutcracker and of course Santa Claus. 

But there is one story that is not legend or fable as some would have you believe. It is not dreamed up in the studios of Disney, but created in the heart of God. It is the story of a baby that would have an extraordinary, eternal impact on the world into which it was born. The backdrop wasn’t a glamorous castle or 5 star hospital with room service, but a humble stable, in a humble town of Bethlehem. And it was to this backdrop that God introduced a plot so powerful that it would turn our world upside down and would reverberate down the centuries.

While other stories seek to define or communicate the meaning of Christmas, this story is Christmas itself. It is the heart, the essence, the reason and purpose of Christmas. Christmas is celebrating that our God, so loving, would seek a way to give a world hope where there was no hope, light where there was no light and redemption where there was none. It is a story of how our much our God loves us that He would send His son as a baby – vulnerable, innocent, to a world that would reject Him, despise Him and ultimately kill Him. That God would know that His Son was not only born to be King, but was born to die. It is a story that unfolds the majesty, the glory of God and one that paves the way for us to become part of His family, part of the HIS story.

On that night, those many years ago, when the story began, Shepherds and Wisemen caught a glimpse of eternity, of the glory of Heaven as they saw angels rejoicing and then beheld a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, in a manger, in a stable – Emmanuel, God with us. And today, we, in our hearts we too can catch that same glimpse of eternity and behold the King of Kings.

In a land far away
Time stood still
Long ago
There were shepherds in fields
Or at least this is how
The story goes
Woman with child
And an inn with no room
Born in a manger
Foretelling it tomb
This is how
The story goes
But it is more than a fable
And it's more than a fairytale
And more than my mind can conceive

I believe
The Wiseman saw
The baby boy the angels
called the son of God
Heaven's child
The great I am
Born to take away my sins
through nailed pierced hands
Emmanuel has come
I believe

This Christmas, will you open your heart new, or anew to Emmanuel, God with us.

I believe.