Julie’s Christmas Home
The smell of blueberry pancakes tickled Julie’s nose. Sunlight reflecting off the fresh snowfall danced on the window panes as she opened her eyes. “It’s Christmas!” She kicked back the flannel sheets and down comforter, jumped out of bed, and padded down the stairs. The kitchen was awash with warm light, the fireplace flames danced cheerily in the corner, while the smells of fresh pancakes and now bacon embraced the little girl.
“Merry Christmas!” shouted Mom and Dad as Julie rushed into the room.
“Shall we eat now, princess?” asked Mom. She wrapped Julie in a big hug.
Julie smiled and said, “Yes, please!” and climbed onto her stool.
“We made your favorites!” beamed Dad as he put a pile of pancakes, twin pieces of bacon and a portly looking glass of orange juice at Julie’s spot at the island. They all gathered around and enjoyed laughter and a delicious breakfast.
During that day, Julie experienced all her favorites. Breakfast was delicious, Christmas music jingled happily, the tree sparkled with lights and bright ornaments, underneath the tree were piles of red and green packages that she opened soon after breakfast, and the warmth of the love of her family surrounded Julie like her favorite fuzzy blanket while the fresh snow glimmered happily outdoors.
Mother prepared a delicious Christmas dinner, and Julie sat by the fireplace inspecting one of her many toys. Dad came and joined Julie on the hearth.
“My dear child, if you love me, I want you to do something very hard that I am about to ask you.”
“Yes, Dad, what is it?” asked Julie pulling her eyes away from her waiting toys.
“I would like you to leave all your wonderful toys and our beautiful joyous home with delicious food and go down by the river where there is a cave. Take this old hard bread and eat it for Christmas dinner by the bank of the river.”
Julie’s eyes widened in astonishment. She loved her father but what he was asking seemed unthinkable. Her mind was reeling.
“Dad! I just got my toys and barely played with them! I’ll miss the turkey and mashed potatoes! And besides it’s far too cold out there and…” Julie’s words stuck in her throat as her father raised his hand.
“Have you ever thought, Julie, how wonderful heaven must be compared to your home? You love your warm, comfortable home, your mother and me, and the good times we share all together here. We love each other very much. Today you had such a wonderful time with lots of new fun gifts and your favorite foods. It would be a big sacrifice to leave your comfortable and loving home, even for a short night. And it is not only hard for you, Julie. It is for all of us. It’s difficult to leave our comfortable circumstances, even for the sake of our loved ones.”
Julie nodded, realizing her father wasn’t really asking her to go eat by the river.
“Heaven is the most perfect home. It’s like a beautiful palace filled with love and good things. Nothing bad is there—no sin, death, or illness. It is a thousand times more beautiful than our Christmas tree and is filled completely with perfect love.”
Julie tried to imagine what that would be like.
“But while we find it difficult to leave our own comfortable homes,” continued Dad, “there is a Person who left his wonderful, beautiful, comfortable, heavenly home because of his love for us. He left the most grand place, heaven, and came into our sin-filled world. He came from feast to hunger, comfort to pain, health to sickness, and life to death. Do you know who this is?”
“It’s Jesus Christ, isn’t it?” said Julie.
“You get a gold star,” answered Dad. “Because of his love for you and me, Christ left heaven and came to a dirty sinful earth and was born, lived, and died for our salvation. What he did was way harder than having to go down by the river and eat old bread in a cave for a night, which is something that many people have to do today in some places. Though in heaven every angel served Jesus, in the world he was hated. He was even tortured and eventually crucified.”
Julie nodded her head slowly. She had never thought during Christmas time about how Jesus became very poor and suffered. She usually just thought of him as a cute baby.
“So Christmas isn’t about a baby?” asked Julie.
“It is,” replied Dad. “Christmas is about a baby who came to do something wonderful and hard. Jesus came down because of his love. We filled this world with sin, death, sickness, and evil. We brought all the bad things into this world. And now we deserve to be destroyed with it. But love came down in the person of Jesus Christ. He came down to our world to take our destruction upon himself. And he did. He died on the cross in the most horrible way suffering alone. He gave himself so that we could receive the gift of salvation. Do you see the amazing love, Julie? Do you see what Jesus has done for us?”
Julie looked into the fire. The light danced upon the red stones at her feet. Before, she had been only focused on her toys, the good food, and enjoying her family. Now her face was quiet and thoughtful as she reflected upon what her dad had said. “I guess,” said Julie, “If Jesus did such a big thing, then we should make sure to celebrate his love every day, not just on Christmas.”
Dad smiled. “Very right you are, Julie.”
“Can we tell my cousins this story tonight when they come over for dinner? I want to make sure they know of this great gift.”
“I’m sure we could arrange that. How about you tell the story this time?”
Julie smiled and nodded. As she returned to her toys, she continued pondering Jesus and his love. She couldn’t wait to tell her cousins for then they could all celebrate Jesus and his love together.
Meditate this Christmas on the Love that came down at Christmas and what Jesus Christ has done for those who believe in him. He left his heaven to come down to this world in order to save his people and take them to his perfect world. He died so we can live. He was all alone in the dark so that we could enjoy the light with friends forever. Believe in Christ Jesus and celebrate his love for you this Christmas day and always.
Reverend Bulut Yasar is a pastor at New Life OPC in Williamsport and is married to Ayrian Yasar, associate editor of Beautiful Christian Life.
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