Songs are in the air this time of year. I find myself humming a variety of tunes—from, “Joy to the World,” to “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.” It’s easy to absentmindedly hum along as I drive, shop, or work. But when I focus intentionally on the words, I discover new meaning, even in songs I’ve sung for fifty years.
 

Have you ever pictured the world as a giant receiving blanket? It just hit me this year. The familiar words say, “Joy to the world, the Lord has come. Let earth receive her King.” Not just 2,000 plus years ago when Jesus first arrived, but every day. That’s the only way Christmas makes sense and the only reason we have for celebrating.
It’s not about the gifts, how happy or whole our family is, or whether our circumstances are cozy and comfortable. No matter where we are, no matter how rich or poor, we can receive our King. So open your arms wide to accept Jesus as King of your life. He is our reason for joy!
There are four ways we can do that as we close in on Christmas:
We Receive Him in Our Minds
Think about Jesus. What must it have been like for the King of the Universe, the Creator of the world, to come to earth in the form of a man? How He limited himself for our sake! He was willing to submit himself to all we experience in order to bring us the message in person. Even before His death on the cross, Christ showed His love by growing up in our world. After all, He could have arrived as a man—a King, a conquering hero—magnificent in splendor. But instead, He came as a baby.
We Receive Him in Our Hearts
Let the facts trickle down to your heart. They say the longest distance is the 12” from our head to our heart and I believe that’s true. It’s only when the message of Christmas touches our heart that it brings joy. The song says, “Let every heart prepare Him room.” Is there room in your heart for laughter, tears, songs, dancing, and shouts of praise?
We Receive Him in Our Words
You just can’t keep joy inside. It tends to leak out in what we say. What is the focus of your conversations: how crowded the stores are, what you’re having for Christmas dinner, who you’re celebrating with, elf on the shelf, or the glorious fact that the Lord has come?  
We Receive Him in Our Actions
Let your joy become active. I’ve heard some great stories this year of people who gave and practiced kindness—not just to brag about how they’ve “paid it forward” or got in the “spirit of the season” but because gracious giving is a natural outflow of their love for Christ. What else do you do with a loved and longed for child, wrapped lovingly in a receiving blanket? You pass Him around with pride, sharing boundless joy.

This Christmas, let earth once again receive our King, and continue to receive Him as our Lord and Savior every day. Let there be joy; let there be praise; let there be singing!
Merry Christmas to you! 
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