Wednesday, December 18, 2013

7 days till Christmas


And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.

Christmas is more than a day out of our calendar year.  I have heard as long as I can remember that for the Christian we ought to have Christmas every day of the year.  Yet if we take a survey of the people around us, there will be as many memories, as many definitions, as many traditions as the amount of people you ask.

The only thing that changes the celebration and tradition of Christmas for me is the understanding I have of who Jesus is and what Jesus did.  Does that make sense?  In 7 days we will celebrate a day, a special day.

But wait.  When we had kids, things changed for our Christmas.  I love the look on our kid’s faces when they open a present.  Their hearts and minds seem to be wide open.  That again is what happens when we come face to face, or better yet heart to heart, with Jesus.  He changes us.  He gives us a new view of Christmas and the reason why this holiday, or holy day, is ours.

Take a few minutes to read and think through this quote:

God came to us because he wanted to join us on the road, to listen to our story, and to help us realize that we are not walking in circles but moving towards the house of peace and joy.  This is the great mystery of Christmas that continues to give us comfort and consolation: we are not alone on our journey.  The God of love who gave us life sent his only Son to be with us at all times and in all places, so that we never have to feel lost in our struggles but always can trust that he walks with us.

The challenge is to let God be who he wants to be.  A part of us clings to our aloneness and does not allow God to touch us where we are most in pain.  Often we hide from him precisely those places in ourselves where we feel guilty, ashamed, confused, and lost.  Thus we do not give him a chance to be with us where we feel most alone.

Christmas is the renewed invitation not to be afraid and to let him-whose love is greater than our own hearts and minds can comprehend-be our companion.

- Henri Nouwen, Gracias

That Jesus not only saved people but that He came to earth to give us an opportunity for peace, joy, hope and love weighs heavy on my mind.  We literally miss who God made us to be and the peace He wants us to have when we cut ourselves off from Him.  To cut ourselves off doesn’t make us lose our salvation.  It keeps from experiencing freedom and joy.

I want that freedom.  He meets us in our prison or in our pain and gives us the key to the door of freedom.  God brings us new possibilities as we recognize His presence, enjoy spending time with Him and celebrate Christ as we do at Christmas.

John 1:14  NLT
So the Word became human and made his home among us.  He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness.  And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.

It is 7 days till Christmas.  Let’s make sure our celebration goes beyond one day and lasts forever.  Praise God for His presence among us.

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