The storybooks of Christmas brim with narratives of hidden visits and secret surveys of our kindness. In our extravagance and parties, Jesus visits those who bear His name disguised as a destitute old man, a homeless young woman, or a lonely child shut out from all the feasting and the revelry.
And we lower our heads, and promise to do better, and actually drop our extra change into the Salvation Army bucket when we leave the stores, laden with our gifts.
But the truest narrative of Christmas is about the gift of presence—God with us, for us—Immanuel who will not let us go. It is the gracious presence of our God we celebrate at Christmas: He walked our streets; He ate our food; He knew hard work and sweat and pain; He celebrated friendship.
Grace is the gift of presence, not of presents. Christ became a human to erase our loneliness, our fear, our dread. “His life brought light to everyone” (John 1:4).
Welcome Him—again—into the inn of your soul. And stay in grace.