In the USA, as well as in some other countries around the world, we have the freedom to celebrate Christmas and other holidays in our homes pretty much as we choose to… But, because I’ve been hearing quite a bit of rhetoric lately about “the real meaning of Christmas”…I thought it good to share both some thoughts – and some facts on that subject…
First of all… In a standard dictionary, “Christmas” is composed of two words – “Christ” and “mas”… “Christ” being defined as “the anointed Messiah”… and “mas” refers to “a specified festival or celebration.” The two words together – “Christmas”- obviously means “a CELEBRATION of Christ, the anointed Messiah.”… It has meant that since the first time Christmas was celebrated… And it still means that today.
So, why would people who do not even believe the gospel of Jesus Christ enjoy celebrating Christmas?… It’s really not that hard to understand… Most people like to give…because giving feels good! It is good! And who among us does not like to be on the receiving end of that giving?… We all do! Giving is good and receiving is fun!… Maybe that is why in Luke chapter 2, the angelic host proclaimed “Tidings of great joy to all people”.. Peace on earth and good will toward men”- as they announced the birth of the Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”
God gave us this Savior for a reason…. He loved..so He gave.. He gave His only begotten Son – Jesus Christ- to be the “mediator between God and men” (I Timothy 2:5). God so loved that He made a way for man to be reconciled to right relationship with Him. God gave this gift of love to all men.. but to those who receive this gift of God – Jesus Christ the Anointed One/Savior/Messiah, there is a very special joy as we celebrate Christmas! For truly knowing Jesus has never been a disappointment to anyone… He is the ultimate gift – the one that truly “keeps on giving”….
He came to give you a new birth in Him (John 3:1-8) – and life eternal!.. And God made it simple… You look to Jesus and ask for this new life in Him… It is the gift of God to you.”
The “bottom line” is this: We can all celebrate Christmas the way that we choose to – but, NOTHING.. can change the true meaning of “Christmas.”
To the world, God the Father says “Come”….. I loved you so much that I gave Jesus Christ, My Son – that whoever believeth on Him should not die in their sin, but have everlasting life….. So, come! You can know My forgiveness and love….. Be reconciled to Me through the One – who gave Himself as a sacrifice for all who would come…..
…… And for the believer, this supply of forgiveness continues into every day of the rest of our lives…. for as He tells us in I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins – and – to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Glory be to God….. He IS incredibly good!
I believe I John 1:9 means that the supply of God’s forgiveness is so complete that you and I don’t ever have to wonder – if He will forgive me “this time“- because the promise is clear….. And if you’ve ever tasted that forgiveness when you’ve really “missed it” and you know it… there’s just nothing that can compare – to that feeling of release from the weight of all guilt – and the peace that comes with that release.
God’s supply of forgiveness is “free for the asking”….. So, ask and receive all that you need of it….. because that is the “door” back into fellowship with Him when you and I have “missed it.”
To me, there is nothing “softer” and “sweeter” than the first gentle moments of the morning…… before all systems are “GO” – with thoughts running to and fro searching for the best way to do this thing or that thing I’m expected to do…….
All of that is well – and for things like that – indeed we are accountable…… But oftentimes in the quiet stillness of the early morning – before all these things start moving….. When we take the time to draw aside with God, we take those precious moments of our time to look at the eternal – and as we look, our thoughts rise to worship and adore Him….. It’s not an “idea” – it’s not a “let’s pretend this is real” (or what I’ve heard scornfully referred to as “having a Jesus moment”) – but He is there …and very glad that you came to meet Him this day.
You were made for fellowship with God – and it delights Him that you took the time to be there ….. He knows your time constraints – and as much as you can get still from all the thoughts that would try to push into that space – He will visit you with the things that He knows are most needed this day for you – And oftentimes He’ll bring fresh ideas and answers before this time with Him is through……
I sometimes say after such times as those – that the Lord is my helper in every good endeavor – and indeed that is true……Of course, He is not my servant – far from that – but for you and me, He honestly wants to be a close and dear friend. Still, He is God alone – and supreme over all – the God of all creation….. And if you choose to come to Him, you will soon understand – that His heart is full of love for you.
God will meet you anytime, any place – that you care to seek His face….. and I am so glad for that. I am glad that I can come to Him in the middle of a busy day – and He doesn’t chide me if early that morning He waited for me and I failed to be there. Nevertheless there is nothing quite as sweet as the gentle call of the early morning to start our day in the stillness with Him.
This is a special writing to me because I so see God the Father’s heart in this …. and I ask you to remember as you finish reading it – that even as Jesus gave the invitation to any who would hear “Come (to Me)whosoever will” – the invitation still stands.
THE HEART OF OUR CREATOR
As I gave my Heavenly Father an hour just to “be with Him” and worship -almost immediately – I began to sense and to understand that He wants to touch and to fellowship with every single person in the world! And that no one – NOT ANYONE – can stand in another person’s place with God!
I felt His love for, and desire to fellowship with the multitudes of people around the world who do not know Him …. so many who do not know He is their Creator and Savior. Yet there is a place with Him for each one of them – a place that no other person can ever fill!
God our Creator so desires that fellowship with each one of us that He is “jealous” over just one hour …. so much so that He would say to those who do know Him as Savior – “Could you not take just one hour of your day and spend that time with Me?” (Because) there will never again be an opportunity like we have now in this time to CHOOSE to fellowship with Him.
…… And to each one of the multitude of people that give their lives to so many other things – and live their lives with so many “unanswered ” needs – would He not say (out of a heart of love) to each of them – “How oft would I have gathered you “as a hen gathers her chicks and holds them close under her wings …. but you would not turn to Me so that I could take you there.”
I also understood this – that even as no one can ever stand in our place with God – even so, neither can you or I ever give that fellowship that belongs to Him to someone or something else. But it is, and will remain an “unanswered” and “unsatisfied” empty place in our life – that we both live and die with – without Him.