Search This Blog

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmases Don't Just Happen

There are certain things you just come to expect at Christmas. Stockings hung on real and imagined fireplaces. Presents neatly wrapped and heaped underneath an adorned tree. The lights, the decorations, the music, but I think it is the smell of Christmas that seduces me into my love affair with the season. The combination of fresh cut pines and pumpkin spice candles produce a heavenly aroma. Still, nothing smells quite like Christmas as grandma`s kitchen. If southerners had their own version of The Twelve days of Christmas, there would be eight maids a baking...five pecan pies. Everyone wants Christmas to look just right, sound just right, smell just right, and feel just right. As any seasoned celebrator can tell you, Christmases don't just happen. Presents don't wrap themselves and homemade red velvet cake doesn't apply it's own cream cheese icing. A tremendous amount of preparation and planning goes in marrying our old family traditions to our new ones. It's truly a magical thing to tie our past to a vision of the future.  It`s a tiny symbol of the same sort of plan our Heavenly Father had that first Christmas so long ago. 

This year, like so many of the past, many will break open their bibles to read Luke chapter two or Matthew Chapter one and tell the story of the first Christmas. It is a story I hold dear to my heart and one I love to share. I only wish, for once at Christmas, we would tell the story from where it began.
The essence and mission of Christmas does not begin in Matthew chapter one. The beginning won`t be found in Luke chapter two. If you want the Christmas story, as told from it's beginning, read John chapter 1: 1-17.  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.   There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe.
 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.
He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.   The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.   (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ ”) Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. Verse nine ties this passage to the Christmas story, telling how the true light, Jesus, was coming into the world. You see, Christ took one foot off the throne in heaven and stepped onto a mission field. A mission, to save us.  It is a mission He has commanded us to be a part of.
In Matthew Chapter 28: 19-20 Jesus said this Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

These words convince me of 4 THINGS.
1. HE IS COMMANDING THE CHURCH, BECAUSE THE TASK WAS TOO LARGE FOR THE DISCIPLES AND HE KNEW THEY COULD NOT FINISH IT.


2. THE CHURCH`S MISSION IS TO BE OBEDIENT  and to TEACH OBEDIENCE to Christ.  The great commission, is a great commandment, not a great suggestion.


3. WE CAN`T BE OBEDIENT, UNLESS WE TAKE THE GOSPEL GLOBAL. THE GOSPEL IS A UNIVERSAL MESSAGE FOR ALL PEOPLE. HE TELLS US TO Go To all nations. Two thirds of God's name is Go!

4. GOD IS WITH US. It's the essence of Christmas.  We remember every Christmas season, ISAIAH CALLED Jesus IMMANUEL which means  ``God with us" 

When God is with us,
it's sort of like showing up at the Christmas party and all the work has already been done. All you have to remember is the time. Consider these words from the prophet Isaiah. 46.9-11.ESV remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me,   declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’   calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it

 These verses illustrate, the plan of God involves not only the calling of man, but also the minute details of nature.  Since, even the birds have a role to play in God`s plan. The only part that God has asked us to do is to remember who He is. If we can do that, He has promised to do the rest.

There is another misconception about Christmas. Christmas began when Christ entered our world that is a celebration that doesn`t just come and go with a season. It is an owngoing celebration to those of us that belong to Him. From our point of view the story isn`t finished, yet. So, what part will you play in the Christmas story. Will you bow before the Christ? Will obey Him, and help spread the story to all nations? Come let us adore Him, and let us remember, Christmases don`t just happen.


Post a Comment