Christmas, a much ballyhooed time of the year. The push-pull between all the online sellers and the brick and mortar people...the rush to out decorate neighbors...over spending on gifts that will mostly be forgotten within days...Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Green Tuesday, Cyber Week, Twelve days of "deals." The hype is everywhere. Drone deliveries, UPS executives suiting up in their 'browns' to help deliver packages, Amazon prime (do you want it tomorrow?)
Is that really all there is? Some things are different this year. It's OK to say Merry Christmas again even in the place of political correctness on steroids. Nativity scenes are showing up, even in the White House.
But, really, is that all there is?
NO - Jesus is The Reason For The Season
Here's a Christmas snapshot going back thousands of years.
God made a perfect place and then gingerly and lovingly populated it with the first people.
The people didn't trust what God had said and the consequences were severe...no more perfect world, uncooperative soil making a living hard...pain in childbirth...and ultimately death.
The story repeated itself over and over again for millennia. God would bless, mankind disobeyed and God sent punishment again. The peoples of the world repented of their disobedience until God sent a rescuer to bring them back to prosperity when the cycle began all over.
The history of God's Chosen People was a repetitive cycle from which they never learned.
In the fullness of time when there was peace in the world, a system of roads made travel possible, a common language was spoken...God decided to see if He could win his Creation back one last time.
John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life."
That really is the glory and story of Christmas. God came down in human form to woo fallen mankind back to God, and in that snippet, you will notice three things God cannot do.
God cannot love you anymore than He already does
God cannot give you anymore than He already has, and
God cannot make it any more simple to have a relationship with Him.
None of this would have happened without Jesus coming to be born as a baby, an event we commemorate this month.
Was Jesus born on December 25? Probably not. But if you get wrapped around that axle, you will miss the point. Jesus came to be Immanuel - God with us.
The with-us God...not aloof, not uncaring, desperately wanting a relationship with you.
So, as you celebrate Christmas this year amid the tinsel and the food and the gifts...and yes, even Santa and Rudolph, how about a remembrance of what God has given to and for you.
Bake a birthday cake for Jesus and tell the story to your children?
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem and for our country's leaders.
Find a place to plug in where people would gladly trade places with you...deliver meals, buy gifts for needy families, attend Christmas eve services and worship.
The Gatlin Brothers sing a song we want to be singing all the way from here to the end. So may you have a very Merry Christmas and may all your hallelujahs whether spoke or heard be heartfelt thanks to YOU, Dear Lord https://youtu.be/KKbFzq20SoI
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!