For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.  Isa 9:6

Joy to the world! The Lord is come
Let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare Him room
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven, and heaven and nature sing

Christmas 2020

The Christmas season is a special time of the year; and wrapped up in its story are important messages about life.  When we take the time to internalize the message of Christmas, it has the power to change our whole life.  There is a popular story of Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens’  “A Christmas Carol” that tells of a man who was a miser and hated Christmas.  In the latter years of his life at Christmas time, he realized he had missed the real meaning of Christmas and life.  We have the potential of doing the same if we do not take the time early to learn what this season really means.  In the story, fortunately, Ebenezer had a chance to redeem his life.

Parents bring joy the hearts of their children at Christmas with gifts because of how much they love them.  Children are joyous that their parents and “Santa” remembered them.  Many of us are fortunate enough to find a way to express that same love for others through gifts they will enjoy.  Also, if we are fortunate, that love will be returned by someone who cares.  It’s a circle of love that makes us all feel loved and blessed but Christmas is much more important than exchanging gifts.  Christmas celebrations may be perfectly planned and still not everyone will experience the same burst of joy and love during the season.  The season can mean for some a time that bring up regrets, sorrow and memories of good or bad days.  It can reveal breaks in relationships or lack.

The real meaning of Christmas is the expression of love by God, the Father, for all His children and that love can be experienced even if no one is around.   He, who gave everything to His first born (Adam and Eve) and saw them lose it all, loved so much until He decided to restore everything that was lost.  Christmas is all about a remembrance of His love and His giving.  The example we see in the birth and eventual death of the Savior is one of true love.  It is the unselfish giving of something precious for the benefit of someone else. 

God shows us that we have the power of sharing the joy of giving and receiving makes life better for both parties.  The big difference in God’s giving and our giving is that God’s gift has the ability to make the receiver’s life complete whereas our gifts only give temporary joy.  We do have the ability to give a gift to someone that improves their life for a longer period.

God inspires us to give meaningful gifts, gifts that make a difference in someone’s life.  If we follow Christ’s example, we can learn to do the same.  By taking the time to know someone and what their life is about, we can give meaningful gifts that make a difference.  When we give meaningful gifts, we can give a person joy for more than a day and improve their life in some way.

Ultimately, God gave us His gift to make our lives better eternally.  He saw the deterioration of the earth and decided to restore its lost joy by replacing what was missing.  What was missing was a relationship with the Father.  When the first family was in relationship with God, there was no lack.  There was no sickness, no danger of animal attack, no lack of food, no lack of heat or A/C, no lack of shelter or clothing and no lack of knowledge because the Father taught all that was needed in regular fellowship with His children.

The Old Testament of the bible foretold of a time when God would return the lost blessing to man.  All Israel anxiously awaited the time when the promised blessing (Is. 9:6-7) would come and everything would be restored.  And then fulfillment came when the Father sent the promise through the birth of Jesus, Savior of the world.  In the life of Christ, we see how God loves us through everything Jesus did and said.   Through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, we witnessed how much the Father was willing to suffer for our restoration.  Once Jesus was sacrificed on the cross and ascended back to the Father, the miraculous gift was released for every soul in the earth.  The Holy Spirit’s coming represents the fulfilled promise made available for every soul to have a restored relationship with the Father and their needs met.  God specializes in ministering to whatever is missing in our lives.  The gifts of God often come through the Spirit but some are manifested in the natural realm with the aid of other humans.

God has charged parents to raise their children with the knowledge that there is a God who loves them and for family experience that will be enjoyed in a larger, more significant setting as we grow in the Christian body.  He has charged preachers to teach about this God who loves all His children of every color, culture, position and condition.  Jesus taught His disciples to spread the good news of salvation and help us interact with each other to bring about a loving community.

The hindrances we now see in our communities and families are a result of failure in some of the authorities God entrusted responsibility in our lives.  Resources come from the Father but often flow through earthly stewards who are entrusted to provide a pathway for the resources to flow through authorities or caretakers to recipients.  Where God has blessed the rich beyond their needs to have an overflow to sow into those of lack, many of the rich have kept their portion as well as the overflow for themselves, leaving a community that is impoverished.  Where God has given us leaders who are empowered to implement the distribution of resources throughout our communities, some leaders have kept an abundant supply for themselves and caused inequity in the community because of personal prejudices.   Where God brought us teaching through Christ on how to discern and care about the needs of others and minister to people as Jesus did, too many people have heaped blessings and the overflow upon themselves, rather than share the blessings with others. An obstructed flow accounts for much of the lack we see in our environment because God “maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust (Mt. 5:45).” We are called to be blessed instruments for God’s flow to others.

There is still an overflow and abundance of rain being sent into the earth by the Father for His children, but blockage in the river’s flow of blessings can cause an overflow at one end and poverty at the other.  God is a gracious and plentiful God, lacking nothing and freely gives to all.  Ministers are called to help God unclog the river of flow to those it was intended to reach.  During the Christmas season, we feel an abundance of God’s love flowing through our environment inspiring all of us to give and share with others.   It is that spirit of love we should carry with us all year.  Those in need may still have a need long after the holiday is over but the Savior’s birth is for more than a holiday.  Christ’s spirit empowers us to imitate His life and ministry.

Christmas is not just a holiday.  It represents the spirit we have been given to live a life of love, sharing and caring every day of the year.  The spirit of Christmas we feel at this season is for every day.  Christ came not for a day but for life and eternity.  The Father sent His Son to bring us back to a place of love, joy and plenty that was lost through the error in the Garden of Eden.  Receive the His best gift, Jesus Christ as Lord.

He rules the world with truth and grace
And makes the nations prove (And makes the nations prove)
And glories of His righteousness
And wonders of His love
And wonders of His love
And wonders of His love
And wonders, wonders of His love
And wonders, wonders of His love

Joy to the world then we sing
Let the earth receive her King!
Joy to the world then we sing
Let the angel voices ring

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men (Lk. 2:14)


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