I do hope that you all are taking time to set your minds, hearts and souls to God during this very important Christmas season. The birth of Christ can’t be celebrated in one day as ours can be. No way. The coming of Christ to this world needs a celebration of an entire season. Does this mean that we all walk around with false cheer on our faces? No!
Christmas can be a very depressing time for those without family or friends, those who are sick or poor, those who are stressed or those who feel like a failure in life. Christmas is a time for us to love our God with all our hearts- more so than at other times of the year. It is a time for us to contemplate how empty our existence would be without Christ’s love, without his devotion and decision to come and rescue us from what we see everyday. It is the time to see the pain around the world and know, without a doubt, that we, humanity, really do need a Savior. It the season to see, truly see, the truth about mankind. If anything, one must open their eyes to the pitiable state of man, to the things we do to one another. We must acknowledge the loneliness, the cravenness of some souls, the emptiness of existence. Look at the politicians’ solutions for world issues and contemplate that without Christ’s promises of justice, this is all that we would have! This would be all that we could hope for! How sad is that? How depressing would that be!
And then, turn your hearts to gladness and thank God for his Son! Thank God that, despite our sin, he loves us enough to over look it! Thank him that he knows our potential to love him. He sees past all the dirt and sees the diamonds underneath- he sees that if, given half a chance, we can be heroes, we can be majestic, we can rise above the filth of ourselves. He sees that in us. And he wants to give us that chance! He wants to give us a new life- a life unburdened by satan and sin.
But not without effort and not without testing. No. First we must overcome. First we must prove ourselves worthy. Not by works. He doesn’t care about works. What does he care about? He cares about Love. Do we LOVE him? He loves us. That is evident. But do we love him enough? So, he sent his Son and he made us a new deal. It is so simple. So exquisitely simple. Such a gift- such a kingly, rich, bountiful gift. Eternal life, full of joy. All we have to do is love his Son and believe in God’s power and Love.
And yet, look! The world takes God’s gift and thrashes it from his loving hands. They throw it to the muddy ground and stomp on it! They smash it with their ugly feet and kill it. And yet, angry as God is, his promise still stands today. It stands because God is not like us- his Word is like the ageless mountains, it stands forever, immovable and dependable to the end. Do you love God enough? His kingly hands are still outstretched, gift still poised. Will you take the gift or no? So easy. THAT is what we celebrate!
It takes more than a day to celebrate! Without seeing the pain of the world, we can’t properly celebrate this gift. Without seeing from what we are delivered, we can not appreciate the deliverance. So don’t feel pressured that you must walk around with false cheer upon your faces. How can you feel the true joy of Christ if you do that? No. True joy stems from TRUTH. See the truth of existence and you will then see the Truth of the freedom of Christ’s sacrifice- and the remarkable power of his resurrection! He lives! He overcame all this stink and death. And he has been given all power from God to do the same for us. He will raise each of us from all this death as well. We will celebrate, every tear will be gently washed from our cheeks- and we will laugh honestly from our bellies again, like we are children. No false laughing, no fake joy- but honest to goodness happiness. And won’t that be lovely? I love you all and truly wish you a joyous season of Christmas. Susan