I had traveled alone, and after a 14 hour flight I had arrived in Shanghai. I had no idea where I was going, so I followed the Americans through the airport trying to navigate strange signs. I made it through fingerprinting… then immigration… then picked up my bags and passed screening. Finally I came around the corner into a large group of people waiting, mostly short Asians. And then I saw him! My brother stood head and shoulder above the crowd, and he made sure that I knew he was excited to see me! That was cool. I’ll never forget the joy of seeing my brother on the other side of the world.
In Luke chapter two, “the angel said to (the shepherds), ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.’” They were learning that God loved them so much, He was sending His one and only Son (Jn 3:16) to be their Savior. And while we celebrate how excited we are that Jesus came to us, we maybe overlook that the Christmas story is about our Heavenly Father working out His plan to reconcile us to Himself, so He can communicate to us how excited He is to see us and to be close to us again!
One of my friends sang his bride a love song at their wedding. The guys were amazed he pulled it off. The ladies seemed to think it was so sweet, the kind of thing every girl wishes someone would do for her. The Bible says in Zephaniah 3:17, “The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by his love; He will exult over you with loud singing.” The Bible is teaching us God sent Jesus at Christmas, to restore our relationship, so He could rejoice over us with gladness, and affirm His love for us by loudly singing us a love song!
When you picture God in your mind how is He looking at you? Is He distant and unapproachable? Is He stern and condescending? Is He scowling and disapproving? If you have trusted Jesus as your Savior and Lord, the Bible portrays a very different image of Him. In Psalm 147:11, He is the Father who delights in those who trust in Him. He is pleased with, or He takes pleasure in, those who hope in His steadfast love. The Numbers 6:25 blessing is that the Lord would “smile on you and be gracious to you!”
The Christmas story is good news that creates great joy. I hope you spend time considering how much your Heavenly Father loves you in Christ Jesus. And I hope you are satisfied with His steadfast love, so that you can rejoice and be glad all your days (Ps 90:14). Be encouraged friends, and smile — you are the apple of His eye (Ps 17:8)!