Monday, December 9, 2019

What is Christmas?

Lots of things are attached to the real Christmas. It is like a Chinese box set. You take it apart piece by piece until you get to the center.

There are so many traditions. Eating special food. Family gatherings and eating more food. The smells of the season. Christmas trees. Baking cookies. Soapy romantic comedies like my favorite; While You Were Sleeping, set in Chicago with Sandra Bullock.

The sounds of Christmas. The rustling of paper as presents are wrapped. The joy of carols being sung. The doorbell ringing. The warmth of Christmas with decorations everywhere. Christmas parties and gatherings.

Christmas unfortunately in its outer box has lots of pressures and expectations but not much of a core. It is an empty box. So after all the food and the festivity, the presents are unwrapped and you have that feeling. Something is off!

That is because you need to keep taking the Russian babooshka boxes apart until you find the real Christmas. Download a Bible and Read Luke, chapters one and two. It relates the story not so well known these days of Mary, Joseph and their trip to pay taxes in Bethlehem.

While they were there in the city of Bethlehem she brought forth her baby and he was called Jesus. She "wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger..."

Meanwhile shepherds in the field were guarding the sheep when "...the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shown round about them: And they were afraid."

There is much more inside the last box for you, but you must take your time and think about this story. What is Christmas? Or should the real question be —

Who is Christmas?

Friday, December 6, 2019

What Christmas Actually Means

God is after you. He knows where your story is. He knows your deepest needs, longings and hurts. He knows you feel far away. 

BUT..... His love is infinite. He does not want to punish you for the wrongs you have done. He wants to forgive you for every single thing.

Jesus as a baby with Mom and Dad, Mary, Joseph and the three wise men.
The Lord's love is relentless. He gave his only son, Christ Jesus, from heaven to earth. As a baby, Jesus grew up and went about doing good. He had no sin but was punished by death on a cross. His blood poured down. His side was pierced. In agony, he cried out... "FATHER, FORGIVE THEM FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO!"

Jesus died on the cross for our sins.
Jesus died on the cross so that our sins would be forgiven. This is an amazing gift. No one else could give this gift because only God can forgive sins. As such we also need to forgive others too.

When you get a wonderful unexpected gift, your only response is to say, "THANK YOU!"

Jesus came down from heaven to this dark, dirty and estranged world. GOD WAS IN CHRIST RECONCILING THE WORLD TO HIMSELF. Believe and receive this! For you will have the gift of PEACE within you. This is the proof of the Father's forgiveness and acceptance of you. 

Say this special prayer:
Thank you God for sending Jesus Christ of Nazareth to us. Thank you Jesus for dying on the cross and shedding his blood for the forgiveness of all my sins. Thank you God that your love is relentless. I receive you Lord Jesus into my life. I am trusting you to save me now.