Unspoken: I Lift my Life Up

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Day Approaches

Christmas is almost here...our day to commemorate the night when Baby Jesus, the Son of the All-powerful, omniscient, loving Lord of lords, broke into our world...he came, not with an earthquake, not with a shout, but with the groans of his teenaged mother and with a baby's first cry. All the splendor and power of the Almighty, crammed into a little helpless babe....whose arrival was only announced by angels to some shepherds on a hill top.  The Earth did not rock on its axis....but there shone a new bright star --the appearance of which alerted some scholars and wealthy astronomers in the far East, sending them on a journey which took approximately two years until the time when they first laid eyes on the baby King of Kings.

Christmas is the time when we focus in humility on the humbleness of God's Son who lay that night in his manger bed with the shadow of the cross falling on him.  Even in that time of wonder and joy, God's heart ached as he knew what lie ahead for his God-man Son.  And Mary had warning as well as she was told he would pierce her heart....but I'm sure she had no inkling of what that might mean.

What does the birth of the King mean to you? Is it some nice "story"? A fable? An event so far buried in years that it holds no significance to you, even if you do believe it's true?
To me, and to many like myself, that night, Hope was born.  It was a necessary precursor to the Cross where God would take on the powers of darkness and Evil and submit to the Father's will, and die the most painful, humiliating death possible....and there lies our Hope.  There lies our future when he covered us with the blood he shed that night and left no grounds by which Satan could accuse us before the Father.  Christmas is meaningless without Easter.  And Easter is impossible without Good Friday.

What was the view of heaven's occupants as Jesus bid them farewell and left to become encapsulated into a tiny embryo?  I'm sure there was sadness---as well as joy.  Did the angels understand the details of God's plan at that time? I don't know.  But I am sure that heaven rejoiced at the knowledge that God was about to undertake a rescue mission for those who loved and obeyed him...all the way from Moses to Simeon and Anna who stayed in the temple looking and praying for a glimpse of the Messiah....and all the way through the ages since that night on the cross..to.the faithful who came after that time--including me, and I hope, you.  To us, Christmas brings joy.  Because the victory of the cross and the empty tomb is completed.  All that is necessary for our salvation has been accomplished.  We need merely to believe and to obey....and even there we need help as well. Because you and I were born sinful and we require the call of God on our hearts and our hearts need to spring up in response with a resounding "YES!!!" and then we are transformed from being  enslaved by sin, into those who are Children of Light who now are empowered to obey. And when we need help with that, help is available because the Gift of the Son to us, his Spirit, dwells in us.

We can make Christmas complex.  Or we can make it simple with the simple faith of Mary and Joseph. The simple joy of the shepherds.  The simple conviction of the visitors from the East...who would not arrive on the scene until a couple of years later.

Christmas --whether it is covered by silent snowfall or in rain or in temperatures cold or hot---is a time of beauty and joy.  God gave the first Christmas gift and it is up to each of us to accept--or reject--that Gift and how we respond to that makes all the difference between heaven or hell.
I pray for each reader here...that God would move and knock  on the door of  your heart----and that you would respond in faith and invite him into the "control room" of  your life; that he would change your heart and bring you forgiveness for the sins that weigh you down with guilt. He would stamp each of those as you confess them with the stamp, "FORGIVEN" and he will break the power they hold over you.  They need no longer to imprison you or cause you guilt.

I am praying for you tonight, dear reader.  Make Christmas your birthday as well as the Baby Jesus'. Take from him the gift he is holding out to you.  The one that was paid for with his blood. The one that brings you Life. "For All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." and "God so loved the world (that means YOU) that he gave his only begotten Son that whoever believes in him will not die but have eternal, everlasting life."  That last verse is the true verse for Christmas. God so loved us that he gave us life. Thank you Jesus for your obedience to the plan of the Father. Help us to be obedient in return. Amen.
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