Imagine if you will, Christmas day in history, more than 2000 years ago in the small town of Bethlehem. Jesus is born. Do you feel the crisp early morning air? Do you smell the animals and the hay? Listen. Do you hear the newborn crying? Can you see Mary, seated on the floor of the stable, holding her tiny son? Can you see her rock back and forth, back and forth, to comfort and quiet this tiny babe?
Thirty years later, behold a dry and barren land. The voice of John the Baptist cries out in the wilderness. “Make straight the way for the Lord,” he calls to any who will listen. Now that the crying baby is grown, his cousin John cries for the repentance of his people.
Three years later it is the mother of Jesus who cries. She kneels and weeps at the foot of a rugged Roman cross. High above her head is the broken body of her baby boy. The once tiny babe is grown and men have nailed him on this cross. She cries for her son who is suffering and dying.
In just a few days, everything changes. Now those bitter tears, those agonizing cries have turned to miraculous cries of joy. The son who was crucified on a cross is no longer in the tomb. He is alive!
As you contemplate these cries, think about your own preparations for Christmas. Did you spend many exhausting hours shopping, wrapping, cooking, cleaning, and baking to prepare for Christmas? Did you cry in anger, frustration, or fatigue?
Through your tears, remember, the babe who cried in the manger is the Lord who died on the cross. He is the same Lord who was resurrected and is alive. He is the same Lord who takes away our sins so that we, too, may be blameless and live forever in heaven.
Once again we hear crying, the crying of our hearts. We cry, remembering our sins. We cry in repentance, preparing our hearts for His coming and living in our lives. We cry in grief, remembering His sacrifice for us. We cry in joy, recognizing His resurrected life in us and anticipating eternity with Him in heaven. We cry tears of delight, for we realize that even though all the preparations are not yet finished, we are, finally, truly ready for Christmas.