So, Christmas morning 2007 started with a bright sun on a cold, snow-less ground. We are staying with family and enjoying a pleasant and relaxing morning. Gifts were handled last night. My niece started off the time last night with a reading of the Christmas Story from the Gospel of Luke, followed by a brief devotion on how Jesus impacts our lives, and a prayer by her dad.
Today is sort of a lazy day. My brother-in-law has serving duties at the base chow line for an hour or so, and then we should be ready to go to this year’s movie: “National Treasure: Book of Secrets”.
Pretty dull? Almost like any other day? In many ways, so was the day Jesus came into the world. Although there was incredible heavenly planning for this great event, people still were going about their business here on Earth (okay, so the whole census thing was a bit of a distraction). But no one expected such a dramatic set of events… and yet, the nation of Israel was expecting the coming Messiah. So when Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, the wise men from the east, King Herod and his advisers were told that there was a new king in town, they knew the promise and could relate to it right away… some well, others not so much. I find it odd the Herod’s faith was either so empty or twisted that he thought he could eliminate Jesus by killing all of the baby boys born during the time. I find it exciting that “mere” shepherds were immediately quickened with the knowledge, joy, and worship of God upon receiving the heavenly message. I am myself sometimes afraid that I will miss Jesus in my life because of all the things I have… I feel like I could end up like King Herod, and I want desperately to be like the shepherds and humble myself before him, not just today but every day.
30 or so years later were not much different. People were still looking for the Messiah. Many believed that Jesus was going to be their savior by destroying the Roman government that was oppressing them and establish an Earthly kingdom. But God sees more than the human physical condition… He sees the oppression that Sin (the things we do that we know displease God) creates in human hearts… in the human spiritual condition, the human eternal condition. Knowing that He’d created people all containing the capacity to live forever, but separated from Him by Sin, He sent His Son. His Son (Jesus) came to become one of us, to show us what Love is, to establish a Heavenly Kingdom on Earth, and to do for us what we could never do for ourselves… pay the price for our Sins by dying in our place on the Cross. And by this, we can live forever with Him!
Christmas is about much more than the birth of a baby… it is the beginning of that baby’s walk down the path to the Cross. Christmas means nothing without the Cross. Christmas and the Cross are offered to you, yes you, as God’s gift, one gift that you need to accept. He offers this gift freely, please consider taking it and joining in a life of true Joy and Companionship with the One who created us all!
May God Bless each and everyone of you and your families today!
If you have questions, please feel free to email me at: [email protected].