The first Christmas pilgrims, the shepherds, did not find the secret scrolls of a new religion in a rock stable, nor a mistic light, or an aged, bearded guru. Rather they found a baby wrapped in cloths among the hay, in the midst of animals. For God chose to come into the world in human flesh that way (John 1:14)!
God loved us so much that he came in human form to be with those whom He created so all can get to know Him truly, fully! He poured His divine being into the fragile earthen vessel of a human being (cf. 2 Corinthians 4:7), so that anyone may drink forgiveness, hope, love, and eternal life from it! He became that life giving drink to all, tax collectors, fallen women and men, sick and sorrowing, Roman soldiers, Gentiles, Pharisees, all who thirst for righteousness, who thirst for the love of God! Out of His abundance, from His grace and mercy we drink today too.
God gave His one and only Son – not just as a cute little baby in the manger, but in exchange for everyone, as ransom – God gave His Son for sacrifice, suffering, for the cross, to death in exchange for us all. God’s love was so amazing that He came to suffer and die for you and me. Can anyone explain why God let His one and only Son die for our sins? We can’t even explain the mystery of human love, how could we explain God’s love for us who do not deserve it? We can only receive it and accept it. And when we begin to accept His love in Jesus Christ we can bear our worldly trials, and suffering, even death. We can cope even with life itself! And we can have joy. For this is what it means that all who believe in Jesus will not perish … they will not perish in trials, suffering, sorrow, death, or life – for the light of Christ that shined up at Christmas outshines all the darkness! And the darkness cannot overcome Him! Ever!
May you experience and be filled with the light and love of Jesus Christ this Christmas and always!
With every blessing for Christmas and the New Year,
George, your minister