Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas is a Blessed Time of Rejoicing & Celebration

Christmas is a wonderful time of year.  It's a time when we reflect upon the birth of our savior.  It's a time when we rejoice, feast, give gifts, and fellowship with family.  

I think I've got all my Christmas presents wrapped.  I've got all my plans set to see family and friends. Though I don't have a tree up in my apartment, I'm sure my mom does.  Or maybe my dad does.  Who knows!

Gift giving is a wonderful tradition.  I think it makes sense too. It's a spirit of giving and receiving expressions of affection from one another.  

We have the privilege to give gifts to each other because we've received the greatest gift imaginable from Jesus Christ. That's how I understand gift giving on Christmas.

Christmas is a time of celebration.  It's a mindset too I think.  It's how we see the world.  We celebrate at this time of year, we rejoice and feast and spend time with family because we have the privilege of doing so.  We do this because of Jesus Christ, and the glory of God coming into the world.  Scripture tells us Jesus Christ hold reality itself together, so in a very real sense we celebrate the one who makes all things possible.

If Jesus has fallen to the way side in your mindset of Christmas, I suggest that you try to change that.  I think prayer can do that.  Prayer before the meal, prayer before gift opening.  Scripture could also be incorporated into your traditions.  Jesus Christ is already at the center of all things, we can't change that, but we can keep him in focus as we celebrate.  And we should celebrate.  We need to celebrate.

Year by year life is a struggle. We fight all year round. We work and work. We constantly struggle against unforeseen circumstances and endless difficulties.  We fight and push to somehow redeem a dying, decadent, depraved culture that has little interest in Christ.  

We struggle day and night to somehow prevent the total collapse of western civilization at the hands of the marxist rebel revolutionaries who chant "love wins" as they burn the cities and politically destroy anyone who stands in their way.  

We are of a most dire need for rest.  But much more than rest.  When we fight these battles, we can easily begin to lose sight of the reason we fight.  The reason is Jesus Christ.  Without Jesus Christ there would be no battle to fight.  We'd begin by losing, and end by dying.  We'd have no place but in darkness if it weren't for Christ's atoning sacrifice.  Yet we fight so hard, for so long, maybe we start to lose sight of Jesus.

Let us now,  during this Christmas season, pull back from the front lines.  I know many of you out there are on the very front lines of this spiritual war, fighting hand to hand combat with the worst of the spiritual darkness, and the worst of the culturally depraved. It's a tireless, thankless battle.  So we must pull back from the front lines, and take time to rest.

We have great reason to rejoice at Christmas time this year.  For our savior Jesus Christ was born into the world.  God almighty humbled himself to come into the world to deal once and for all with sin.  He came, in a most particular and peculiar manner, through a human mother, born of a woman, to grow up like any human would, and to live a human life.  H came ultimately to live a perfect, holy life, and then become our worst sins for us.  Once and for all, Christ became the sin of the world, so it could be defeated in his death.  And he resurrected from death, to provide eternal life, escape from this fallen world to a new, perfected Earth where God and man will live in perfect harmony.  

This is a gift beyond imagining.  It's so good it can't truly be comprehended.  Jesus Christ was born into the world, lived perfectly, gave his life in the brutal murder of the cross, and on the cross he was forsaken and abandoned by God the Father, left to receive the penalty of sin, for all of us, for anyone who would believe.

Believe in Jesus Christ.  He is our Lord and our savior.  He was so humble, as to be born into the world, in the most unlikely manner, he was born, coming into the world on a rescue mission to save humanity from sin and death.  Rejoice in Christ.  He is our risen, commanding, powerful King and Savior.  

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