THE GIFT OF TIME: A Christmas Reflection

“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people” (Luke 1:68)

As I write this, my 1 year old Marco is on the floor, tugging playfully at my feet. Whenever I would glance down at him, he would flash his patented “please play with me Papang” smile at me. Amused but also a bit irritated, I do what most busy parents do: I multi-tasked.

And then it dawned on me — a striking thought that spells for me perfectly what Christmas is really all about.

It is often said that the spelling of love is T-I-M-E.

This can be said in the truest sense during Christmas. On one extraordinary night 2000 years ago, God made time for man. The King of the universe made time for his people. The creator of life made time for his creatures. The father of all mankind made time for his children.

On Christmas Eve, He did the impossible. He not only made time, he, in fact, entered time.

Once not bound by minutes is now wrapped in years. He who created day is now bound by it. He who affixed the sun and the moon is now subject to its cycle. He who never grew old will now age. He who needed no sleep will now have to close his eye lids and dream if only to restore his body to wake up to another day. He who had no beginning will now have an ending — on a hill…on a cross…in death.

And why? Because of you and me, my friend.

To tell us that God isn’t far. That he hears your cries. That he knows your pain. That he is with you every step of the way.

Beside the grieving mother in Tacloban. Holding the hand of the mourning widow in Bohol. Embracing the cancer patient in the nearby hospital. Comforting the wife and mother left by her husband. Uplifting the tired single mom who had to juggle three odd jobs just to make ends meet. Assuring the unemployed father of five that they will have food on the table the next day.

Christmas reminds us that God loved us enough to join us in our mess. It reminds us that God is not on a pedestal looking down on us but has come down precisely to lift us up. It reminds us that God, while He didn’t have to, made time for us.

Tonight, when you hear the cry of the baby from the manger, remember, not only that this isn’t an ordinary baby but that this isn’t an ordinary night as well. For it is nothing ordinary for the King of the cosmos to become a helpless baby born in a filthy stable.

Unless you know why he did it.

Because He knew perfectly that the spelling of love is T-I-M-E.

A blessed Christmas to you, my friends!

P.S. By the time I finished this piece, I already played “piggyback” and “catch the ball” with Marco. Indeed, making time is truly a gift of love.

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