Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Hope of Christmas

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”  (Luke 2: 8-12)

This morning my son asked me why there was a crown of thorns on top of one of our Christmas trees. "Well, son,  you can't have Easter without Christmas. If Jesus Christ was never born we would have missed the glory that is Easter morning. The two are intertwined, much like the twisted crown that rests on our tree."

God came to earth as a helpless child and walked some of the same roads that we do. He experienced pain, hunger, distress, exhaustion, happiness, joy, love and despair just like you and I. Fully God, yet fully man, a concept that is very difficult to wrap our brains around. He humbled himself to live here and relate on a human level with you. He loves you so much that He came to die for you. The greatest gift ever given came on Christmas.

I understand how many people struggle over the holidays with financial trouble, depression or sadness over love ones who have passed away. I don't want to minimize that at all, but we have ultimate victory over death in Christ! The most amazing gift arrived on Christmas! Christmas is a time of joy and hope - joy because we are loved by God, loved so much that he came to earth and died a horrible death for us. We have hope because life on earth, as difficult as it may be, is not all there is. We have the promise of eternal life in heaven with God through the gift of Jesus.

I get very emotional at Christmas and have very few Christmas carols I can sing through without tearing up. The gift is so HUGE. God came here to be with us.
 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”)  (Matt 1:22-23)
If you are feeling a little blue this holiday season, a little rushed or scattered take a minute or two and focus on what Christmas means for you. Focus on what it means beyond the tree, the packages and the parties. Focus on the greatest gift ever given: Jesus, God with us.

In His Peace--

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