God looks down from heaven on the children of man to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. Psalm 53:2
What a patient, loving God. This time of year people become charitable. They open their hearts and their wallets. They drop off toys for the poor, drop a bill or two in the red bucket, volunteer to wrap presents or feed the hungry. They make gifts for the nursing home residents and bake goodies for the neighbors. All because it is the season of giving.
But, it is also the season of sacrifice. Mary sacrificed her reputation to bear the Christ child. Joseph sacrificed his dignity and pride to stand by her. The Magi sacrificed their wealth and their time to make the arduous journey seeking the newborn King. Later, John the Baptist sacrificed his limelight (and his life) so the one whose sandals he was not fit to tie could shine instead. The disciples would sacrifice their livelihoods to become fishers of men. And above all, God sacrificed the most – for you and me and all of mankind.
The true image of the manager must be seen in the shadow of the Cross. Otherwise, it is just a nice fairy tale. Yet, how many people truly grasp that connection? With their minds filled with angels and candy canes and presents, how many will seek more this year? God waits on high and looks down, longing to see any up-cast eyes seeking Him amidst the lights and laughter and good cheer. What a patient and loving God.