The tourist boat left the pier right on time.  We had waited for about twenty-five minutes in the shaded part of it but the heat was still very much present.  The temperatures elevated in the high 80’s with the heat index well into the 90’s, with the humidity also 90 plus.  It was Virginia Beach, Virginia.

The dolphin cruise was spectacular, with so many of them swimming about and entertaining us.  They played with us on both sides of the boat, swimming and jumping along as the captain sped away to see if they would play.  The tourists were thrilled as they sounded out and held their camera phones to capture the moment.

But when it was all over, I sat down and reflected on something else that was different.  We were comfortable before and after the playful chase.  I felt the ocean breeze coming across my face, though sitting in the sun now.  It was a peaceful moment as the breeze blew off of the ocean water, which averages 75 degrees in September here.  It was a moment in life to be thankful for with the creative work of God.

That evening we walked the wide boardwalk in the night air.  We walked back on Atlantic Avenue with all the shops, restaurants, hotels, resorts and entertainment venues.  We stopped to visit the Christmas store and the thought came as I waited on my party to finish shopping.

The Christmas story is like an ocean breeze in life.

In the midst of the suffering and turmoil of the Bethlehem night and period of biblical history, Jesus came to earth as a baby in a stable.  The Son of God, forsaking all the glory of being with the Father in heavenly realms to sacrifice for us, to carry out the plan of God’s redemption for us sinners. We don’t deserve it by merit and the consequences for our sinfulness are eternally unpleasant.  They go far beyond the sweltering heat before we hit the ocean breeze on earth.

But yet, Jesus came.  And ever since, it has been like an ocean breeze in the uncomfortable state and circumstances of life for humanity. The entire Christmas remembrance can be perverted to commercialism with all the hustle and bustle, or it can be experienced as a pleasant ocean breeze moment in the year.  A moment to reflect on the love of God and what He has done for us in love and peace.  A moment to remember how His grace and undeserved favor has reached out to us from Bethlehem until now to provide for us eternal relief from this world in which we live.  So, sit back, relax, reflect and enjoy the ocean breeze of the true Christmas story this year.