We have all heard it said “Remember the reason for the season“. Good advice I’d say because for many it is a season without reason. Today as I reflected on this happy time of year and the ever faster approaching day, I thought about these things.
We celebrate Christ’s birth, and that is a good thing. I have little patience with those holier- than- thou types who have decided celebrating Christmas is bad because of some pagan, demon inspired conspiracy to cause Christians to celebrate an evil day. Without regard to how much one loves Jesus or how dedicated one is to him and his teachings, people the world over remember him at this time of year. I am glad.
Jesus’ birth is something to be celebrated. His humble birth though would be virtually meaningless but for his cruel death. His willing dying is what makes his birth so special. Had he not died, been buried, and then raised again to life, his birth would get no more attention than most others who were born in Bethlehem (Except his mom was a virgin, not an insignificant fact) near the time Jesus was born.
Born to die so I can live, my sin my shame to him I give. Immortality is his gift so free, a gracious offer is the gospel plea. I remember well when I heard the story, and bowed my will to the Lord of glory. Merry Christmas to me.
Christmas is marked by giving, pretty presents covered with colorful paper and beautiful bows. But all the giving of ten million Christmases cannot match the gifts by God to sinners. Gifts? Yes, gifts. God gave his one and only Son that he loved to die bearing the sins of the world. Jesus gave himself a sacrificial lamb to die the death for every man. And, God gives forgiveness and eternal life to everyone who will accept.
Looking back to a lowly manger in the City of David so many years ago does not compare to looking forward to the new Jerusalem, a city not built with hands. All who truly love Jesus will inhabit God’s city, feast at his table, enjoy Christ and bask in his glory forever.
In birth God with us, in life on earth God among us, teaching us, at Pentecost God in us, today God shaping us, using us to love others, displaying his holiness in our lives to a watching, hurting world.
The final gift is yet to be fully appreciated. Sin, sickness, sadness, sorrow, shame, separation, are all limited to this fallen world, they have no place in our future with Jesus. There is only Light, Peace, Joy, Praise, Glory, Worship, and …..well, language is inadequate to begin to describe even the microscopic glimpse we have of our certain future.
Why on earth would a Christian not say a hardy and heart-felt “Merry Christmas!“?
I appreciate each of you who read Grace Digest. May God’s peace rule in your hearts as we have a tiny taste of God’s glory in this holy season.