For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost,” Luke 19:10 (NIV)
“Twas Christmas Eve I do believe, but still we were quite sad
The tree was lit, the stockings hung, and all we missed was Dad
Though we were in a summer clime, we’d rather be with you this time
Have a merry Christmas Dad, and a New Year too
And don’t forget the child at home who’s thinking about you
For as I kneel next to my bed and pray a silent prayer
My thoughts are all for you Daddy, for your good health and care.”
Christie wrote this poem in December 1996 when she was eleven years old. The Daddy is me. I had recently immigrated to Canada from South Africa and the family were scheduled to join me in February 1997. You can imagine the circumstances: loneliness and longing on both sides of the Atlantic; love separated by the equator; a child’s handwritten poem on a piece of red paper; a father tearfully reading . . .
But the separation of the Murray family during the Christmas of 1996 is inconsequential compared to the circumstances of the first Christmas. Consider the situation of the Father and the Son: Christ had immigrated to Palestine from Heaven. He’d humbled Himself, made Himself nothing – a helpless babe. From holding the universe in the palm of His hand He became an infant in another’s hands. It was new territory for God: The Father in the distant Throne Room – the Son in the grubby stable. The Creator of all was now living in total dependence on His creation. The One who gave life and gives life was now a suckling at His mother’s breast.
Christmas isn’t a romanticised fairy tale. When the Son of God became the Son of Man it was a concrete, flesh and blood fact. Christmas is more than a theological statement; it’s a biological reality.
So why would the Son leave the Father’s side? Why would He come to dwell among us? Because that’s what love does! And, in the Bible’s words of life, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost” (Luke 19:10).
When my family left South Africa we hoped to find a better life in Canada. When Jesus left Heaven He came to give us fullness of life, life in abundance, eternal life. When we accept Jesus’ invitation to become citizens in His kingdom, we experience freedom from past sins and future fears, and more. So if you haven’t done so, why not choose to immigrate? Why not leave the kingdom of darkness for the kingdom of light? For the life found in Christ is the best of life!