A Christmas Thought

 Matthew 1:18-23
18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about[a]: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet[b] did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[c] because he will save his people from their sins.”
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[d] (which means “God with us”).
Isaiah 9:6
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called  Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
John 1:14
14 So the Word became human[a] and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness.[b] And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.
2 Corinthians 8:9
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

This past weekend it seemed that everyone in my family was exhausted from the busyness of the prior week.  We all needed some downtime, so we decided to watch Christmas movies.  Once we started watching them we were hooked.  We watched several in one day, and it had been years since we sat and watched movie after movie for hours like that.

While experiencing this family movie marathon the thought came to me that due to Corvid Christmas would look a lot different to us this year.  Many families will not be gathering this year in an effort to protect one another from this deadly virus.  I thought also of the thousands of families that have lost love ones this year, and how different Christmas will be for them.  For so many there will be an empty seat at the table on Christmas Day, and my heart breaks for them.

Many little children won’t get to go to grandma’s house for her wonderful gingerbread men, pies, cookies, and homemade cakes, but don’t lose heart we still have lots to be grateful for.

Although the way we celebrate Christmas this year will be different, our reason for celebrating will be the same. The excitement and the gratitude for the birth of Christ that is celebrated each Christmas will never change.

The fact that Christ was willing to leave His father and put on flesh, to come into this world to save millions of sinners is mind-boggling to me.  His unselfish act is so much bigger than Santa’s, reindeers and snowmen.  It is the absolute definition of unbridled love. 

God held nothing back.  He sent His one and only son to save the world, and His son held nothing back by being obedient to His Father’s plan.  Isn’t it amazing that the Father and the Son held nothing back.  They both gave us all that they had.  Yet we almost always hold something back from them.  Rarely do we experience total surrender.  Could it be that Satan has tricked us into thinking that we will in some way lose if we totally surrender, when in fact just the opposite is true.

This year as you decorate your homes, bake your cakes and pies, wrap your gifts and take in all of the gorgeous Christmas lights, remember that Christmas is so much more than this.  It is about a sacrificial birth that would eventually lead to a sacrificial death that would save the world.  It is an expression of love like no other.  It is about hope, it is about giving, and it is about receiving the best gift ever, and that gift is Jesus Christ.

Merry Christmas and May God bless you and your family this holiday season!



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