The True Christmas
By Virginia Brandt Berg
Download Audio (5.6MB)
Some people cannot understand how God could have come down and been wrapped about with human flesh, but He came. It isn’t strange to me. That seems so easy to believe, because I see Him born in hearts every day. He comes and lives in hearts and transforms lives, and to me that’s a great miracle, a mighty miracle, that He can be born in your heart and in my heart, and live there in our hearts, identifying Himself in that way with us.
There was a young German soldier posted at his sentry box before the barracks on a dark night, and suddenly he heard the sound of hoof beats. It was his captain’s horse. He went quickly out and offered his salute and then stood like a marble statue until the captain cried out: “Say, of what use to me are your tokens of respect in this pitch black, dark night! Open the gates so that I can ride in!”
That’s similar to what happens at Christmastime. People pay their respects to God in outward show. But with all the honors we pay Jesus, our captain, at Christmastime, do we take Him into our hearts? There’s an old verse of poetry that goes this way:
Though a thousand times in Bethlehem Christ be born,
If He’s not born in thee, thy soul is all forlorn.1
A well-known poem brings this point home, saying,
I shall attend to my little errands of love
Early, this year,
That the brief days before Christmas may be
Unhampered and clear
Of the fever of hurry. The breathless rushing that I have known in the past
Shall not possess me. I shall be calm in my soul
And ready at last
For Christmas. To worship the Christ. I shall kneel, take time to call His name;
I shall take time to watch the beautiful light
Of a candle’s flame.
I shall have leisure—I shall go out alone
From my roof and my door;
I shall not miss the silver silence of stars
As I have before.
Perhaps if I stand there very still
And very long, I shall hear what the clamor of living has kept from me:
The angels’ song,
That mother’s low cry, and the baby’s sweet song.2
God’s word says His name shall be called “wonderful.” There in Isaiah, in the ninth chapter, “Wonderful!” “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; the government shall be upon his shoulder. His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.”3 His name is Wonderful because He was wonderful in His life, going about everywhere doing good and healing all that were oppressed!4 Wonderful His death—dying for you and me, that we might have life! Wonderful His resurrection, that we might also be resurrected! And wonderful now in His life after death, because He is interceding for us.
Oh, my friend,
’Tis not enough that Christ was born
Beneath the star that shone,
And earth was set that blessed morn
Within a golden zone.
He must be born within the heart
Before He finds His throne.5
Won’t you let Him come into your heart?
There is a story of the artist Holman Hunt, who painted that famous picture of Jesus standing at the door, that tells how someone came to him and told him that he’d made a mistake in the picture that he had painted, that he had no knob on the door, that the Savior was standing before a closed door with a lantern in the hand. And then it was that Holman Hunt answered, “I didn’t make any mistake. The door is opened by the sinner’s own hand from the inside. The handle is inside. The Savior can never enter a door unless it is opened from the inside.”
God’s Word says, “To as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God.”6 Receive Him this Christmas. He’ll mean so much to you. He’ll transform your life. Welcome Him into your heart. He’s still on the throne and He wants to be on the throne of your heart, and prayer will change things for you.
Transcript of a Meditation Moments broadcast, adapted. Read by Debra Lee. Music taken from the Rhythm of Christmas album. Used by permission.
1 Angelus Silesius, a 17th-century poet.
2 Adapted from a poem by Grace Noll Crowell.
3 Isaiah 9:6.
4 Acts 10:38.
5 Author unknown.
6 John 1:12.