Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Merry Christmas

 "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."  Isaiah 9:6

Wow, it is hard to believe that Christmas is less than a week away. Christmas is my favorite time of year. I love the fellowship with friends and family, seeing the lights, seeing Christmas trees, the food and all the joy that the season brings. But is Christmas really about these things? Is it really about the gifts we give and receive, the lights that adorn houses, trees, streets and shopping centers, the cards in the mail and the delicious meals with family and friends? Is this really Christmas? 

While these things are all great, for us as Christians, Christmas is not as much about such things as it is remembering and reflecting on the birth of our precious Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.  God showed His unconditional love for us when He sent Christ into the world to be born as a baby in the manger.

His birth brought great joy to the world, not only that night but for every day to come. His earthly parents, Mary and Joseph, were filled with joy, the Shepherds, the Magi’s and angels all shared in the joy and excitement of knowing about the awesome birth of the Saviour. Though He was born in a manager, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lay before an audience of animals, those who saw Him knew He was not an ordinary baby. The prophets in the Old Testament told of His coming hundreds of years before. The star shone brightly over the place of His birth in Bethlehem to guide those who were looking for this wonderful child.

Today, His Cross, the empty tomb and grave clothes stand as a reminder of all He has done for us. He did not stay a baby, He grew up to be a man, lived a perfect and sinless life, died on the cross to pay the ultimate price for our sin so that man, by faith, could be reconciled to God. Without the person and work of Christ we would all be stuck in sin but praise the Lord that we are not.

This is why we celebrate Christmas. It is because of what HE has done. Jesus was born so one day He could pay the ultimate price for the things we have done that are sinful. Romans 3:23 says that all have sinned. We are all born with a sin nature, a desire to want to do wrong things. God can never be near sin and hence the reason we need to have sin removed from our lives. The only way is through Jesus Christ. Jesus came so He could die on the cross for ALL of our sins past, present and future. If we believe that Jesus died for our sins, we can ask Him to come into our hearts and forgive us so that we can be made clean and become His child. We can rejoice in the fact that heaven is a place where we can go to when this life is over. What a great reason to rejoice and all because of Christ.

So this week as you go about shopping, preparing the house for family and friends, getting all the presents wrapped and whatever else you may be doing getting ready for  Christmas day, remember that CHRIST is the real reason for the season and this is why we rejoice. Be sure to share this story with your family and friends and all those you meet today, this week and every day.

The Christmas Story
Luke 2:4-19
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,  and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. 

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
  and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” 

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” 

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.


Ricardo, Kristin Timothy & Annikah

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