Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sign of Hope

Of all the holiday's celebrated, Christmas is a holiday that crosses all denominational boundaries and prejudices. Those who don't know what the celebration is truly about, join in the festivities. It is that one time of year where the hearts and minds of people are focused around that one Holy event that took place 2000 years ago.

As I consider all the traditions of people that have evolved since that night long ago, I stand in awe of God and his wisdom that in one moment we are united. Time spent in considering that precious gift given, so that we would know his love for us.

Although it has become a season of stress, trial and tragedy, it was never intended to be that way. It's not about all the busyness, decorations, buying gifts or parties. It's not about being perfect or living a perfect life. It is about Jesus our Christ our Savior. We can never out give God. We can never achieve the perfect standard of giving love as he revealed to us.

Let your mind wonder back to that little village, in the middle of nowhere, to a stable where livestock were kept. Close your eyes and imagine the stable smells, musty, dried grass and animal dung. The only light was a few oil burning lamps and the stars. Now hear the lowing of those animals and the cry of a woman in childbirth. Imagine the creator of all came into his creation in this way. The King of Glory, Honor and Praise!!!

In obscurity, without the fanfare and pageantry that one would expect for a king, this is what the scriptures say about the birth of Jesus. In Luke's account, he states that when Jesus was born, an angel told a group of shepherds that the king was born. “Don't be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy for everyone! The Savior- yes, the Messiah, the Lord-has been born tonight in Bethlehem- City of David” (Luke 2:10-11).

Then the angel told them where to find him and how to recognize him. “You'll find a baby lying in a manger, wrapped in strips of cloth” (Luke 2:12). Then a vast army of angels appeared praising God, “Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth to all whom God favors!!” (Luke 2:13-14). Getting over their shock, the shepherds ran to the city to see the baby. Just as they were told about the baby, they began telling everyone about whom they had seen and they had heard. (Luke 2:15-20).

The sign of hope was not the woman giving birth, neither in the angel's message nor the praises of the shepherds whom they had been invited to see. The sign of hope was the baby, the one who prophets foretold, who the angels sang and the one who came to buy us back from slavery. He is the sign that God keeps all his promises to us.

Let's not let get caught up in what gifts we can and can not buy, or the friends and family that we can't be with or the busyness and stress this season brings, but let us focus on what we do have. We have the love of God, whose love knows no bounds. We have the saving grace of Jesus who rescued us from death. Let us put our hope in God from where all blessings flow.
May your light so shine in the love of Christ! Merry Christmas!!!

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