Give me Jesus: A Christmas Devotional

This Christmas devotional was written by the Rev. Tony Love, assistant to Bishop LaTrelle Easterling. We share it with you as a gift on this holy day.

 “In the morning when I rise, give me Jesus.”
- Traditional Negro Spiritual

This morning in particular, more than any other morning, my prayer is, give me JESUS. This morning, I give thanks for the faithfulness of God, who gave me the only begotten Son, Jesus--my soul-keeper, my be-LOVE-ed Jesus.  This day, I know that he is Emmanuel, God with us and also, he is God with me.  This day, I see God up close, front and center, in an intimate way.  This God knows my faults and my gifts, my secrets and my Kingdom potential and still decided to grace me with God’s holy presence. If that was the only gift under my tree, God knows, that would be more than enough.

Give me Jesus, born surrounded by the sounds and smells of the stable, in a manger wrapped in pieces of cloth so that I might be made whole. He wasn’t earthly royalty, and he arrived unnoticed by many, but he came, the Divine One, to deliver me and a whole mess of others, too.

Give me Jesus, the friend to all, and especially friend to those who, like me, have experienced being “the other.” Jesus didn’t stay in the manger. He talked with, took hold of and touched people who needed healing and wholeness that only Jesus could bring. He brought relief and release to those who were oppressed because he felt the sting of life at the margins. He spoke life, raised dead and dying things, and forgave mistakes. He opened the closed and lifted the beatdown. God’s Gift at Christmas reminds me that I matter, that I am LOVE’S love.  

Give me Jesus who rewrote my destiny because he understood my end before my beginning. He calls me to step out of myself and my needs and calls me to step into the miracles and mysteries he has planned for my life, a life serving others, not serving myself.

Give me Jesus … the babe of Bethlehem who will be called the Lion and the Lamb, a faithful forgiver who loves me so much that he would be crucified, die and be raised for me and my salvation.  In Jesus, this Christmas Day, God sent God’s very best—God’s very Self. For the world and, for me, too.

On this Christmas morning, give me JESUS. And Jesus, give me the grace to surrender to you not only this morning but every morning, until I am recognized as yours.

Loving and gracious God, I praise you for your faithfulness in giving to me, Jesus. I bless you for the gift that really does fit all--Jesus. As I live my life, may I reflect Jesus’ love and life so that others may see, come to know and believe that Jesus is the Christ. In the name of the given One, Jesus, I ask. Hallelujah, amen.