I’d taken great care to choose just the right Valentine’s card. I strove over my message, hoping to touch her heart. Things had been rough between us the previous year. I longed to comfort her, but she continually made choices that brought us both pain. I poured my heart out—telling her how I loved her and always would. When I found the card unopened, months later, it was like a physical blow.
There is no pain like trying to love someone who continually pushes you away.
Christmas is almost here. It is a day to celebrate God’s Valentine to us—He came to earth in human flesh, to be with us and show us His tremendous love—yet so many leave His gift unopened. Christmas songs and movies no longer mention Jesus. They say Christmas is all about Santa, presents, family, and fuzzy feel good traditions. Employees now hesitate (are even forbidden) to wish customers a Merry Christmas, wishing us Happy Holidays or Seasons Greetings instead. 
Nativity scenes are scarce.
Can you feel God’s pain in this passage?
“I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me;
    I was found by those who did not seek me.
To a nation that did not call on my name, I said, ‘Here am I, here am I.’
 All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people,
who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations…
  who say, ‘Keep away; don’t come near me.’”
Isa. 65:1-2, 5
God spoke those words to the nation of Israel; now our so called “Christian nation” is pushing Him away as well. My heart grieves.
But why would any of us choose not to open God’s gift? Have any of these reasons kept you, or distracted you, from accepting Jesus?
Fear—This is too good to be true. What will I have to give up if I open this?
Anger—God let my brother/sister, friend, husband/wife die; He didn’t save my marriage; He didn’t heal me when I asked Him to. I don’t want His gift!
Rebellion—I don’t need God; I can fix my own problems. I don’t want anyone telling me what to do. I refuse to open this!
Ignorance—I didn’t know this gift was for me; I thought it was for someone else. How do I open it?
Busyness—I don’t have time for God. I’m too busy to read the Bible or pray or go to church.
Yet the angel announced to the shepherds God’s gift was “good news” of “great joy for all the people.” They said He was “a Savior…Messiah, the Lord.” And when a whole company of angels joined in (probably because they couldn’t stand it anymore) they said this gift would bring “peace on earth.” A phrase we blithely throw around at Christmas. However we miss peace is for “those on whom his favor rests” (Luke 2:10, 11, 14).
We can’t celebrate the good news and experience great joy if we reject the invitation—or go to the manger, but leave the gift behind. The shepherds had to quit what they were doing in order to see Jesus, and they left rejoicing, forever changed.
In the same way, peace on earth cannot rest on those who won’t stand still. We must seek peace and pursue it—peace with God before peace with men.

I love Christmas and presents, both giving and receiving. I love the music and decorations and movies and programs. But most of all, I love the Savior we celebrate. I don’t want to miss opening His gift of love and salvation; I am astounded by His peace that defies explanation. I hope wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, you will pause and open God’s gift to you, and celebrate this Christmas with unbridled JOY.
Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! 2 Cor. 9:15
Merry Christmas!

#Christmas #openyourpresent #reasonforseason #Jesusgift #Luke2