"Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.'" -- Luke 2:13-14
During the Christmas season it is not uncommon to hear the song, "My Favorite Things," played on the radio. Even though the original version from the movie, "The Sound of Music," has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas, somehow this song has made it into standard queue of Christmas music offered by radio stations everywhere. "Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens..." You know the song well.
What are your favorite things this time of year? For many, it's the thrill of the hunt on Black Friday and the search for the perfect Christmas tree. Parties and gatherings rank high on the list, and the opportunity to do good by dropping a few coins into a Salvation Army kettle somehow makes one feel a little more noble. With all the traditions there are to enjoy, isn't it easy to get so caught up in the secular celebration that we forget about God's favorite things?
So what is it that really stirs the heart of God? Certainly it is not the festive table we set nor the meal we set upon it, but I believe he is moved by the love of family and friends toward one another. The angels themselves proclaimed glad tidings of "Peace, good will to men." God is blessed when we set aside our differences and gather together to worship him and celebrate the birth of his Son rather than rush past the manger on our way to the next party or sale.
But God's favorite thing of all is us. You and me. Why else would he come down to a fallen world to live as one of us and die for all of us? Because he is so crazy about you and me that he would do anything to make sure that we could spend eternity with him! Jesus was God's gift to us, a helpless babe who grew into a sinless man and ultimately paid the death penalty for our sins.
You, beloved, are one of God's favorite things. Isn't it time that we all made the celebration of Christ's birth our favorite part of Christmas?