Whoever receives one child like this in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me does not receive Me, but Him who sent Me. — Mark 9:37
Jesus commands us to receive the little children. They are the powerless, the helpless — the very kind of people Jesus always stood up for against the powerful and self-sufficient. But the little children are also what He became.
If you ever feel that Christmas is just a wallow in consumerism wrapped as gooey sentiment, maybe it would help to remember this: Christmas is where we mark the divine becoming flesh, the indispensable beginning of God’s earthly journey to change the eternal destiny of all who would believe. If we don’t believe that He came in this way and rejoice in it, nothing else about Christianity is believable or makes very much sense. Without a flesh and blood Jesus, the Gospels become uplifting mythology. There is no cross and no resurrection.
There are many ways to receive the children. Sponsor one living in poverty on the other side of the world. Mentor one in your own community. If you’re really daring, adopt one who otherwise would have no family. But for any of it to have permanent significance, we first have to receive the Child of Bethlehem. He became the Lamb of God, offered in our place on the cross for our sins, and then He became the only dead man ever to raise Himself from the grave.
The gift has been given, but it’s not ours until we receive it. Receive the Christmas Child, and all that He became.
Merry Christmas, everyone.