This time next week I’ll probably be snoozing on the sofa or enjoying some of my wee mummy’s Turkey & stuffing sandwiches for supper. I have a confession to make… I look forward to the perfectly made sandwiches more than the massive dinner with all the trimmings! (It’s all truly scrumptious though!) We’ll have spent the day with family – sharing presents and making memories. As Evie (age 5) pointed out to me tonight, as fun as all the food, games and pressies are – it’s all about Jesus’ birthday. Sometimes it is easy to forget that as we lose ourselves in the madness of prepping for Santa and let’s face it, the world is doing it’s best to take Christ out of Christmas – with their new “Happy Holiday” approach.
So what is the message of Christmas that we should be sharing with the world? We know the nativity story so well:
- A young virgin mother visited by the angel Gabriel – who told her she would give birth to the son of God
- Her partner, a descendant of King David’s struggled a little but then realised that he had a role to play and needed to be obedient to God’s plan for his family
- After a long trip to Bethlehem, the baby boy, Jesus was born in a manger
- He was visited by shepherds and wise men who brought expensive gifts
- He fled to Egypt to escape King Herod who was threatened by the new “King”
It’s so detailed and so memorial but the thing that sticks in my mind isn’t something we read in Matthew or Luke, but the prophecy in Isaiah:
A child will be born for us.
A son will be given to us. (Isaiah 9:6)
He was the gift, given to US – what a privilege. But why did God offer us such a special gift? It wasn’t so we could get the kids dressed up in Mary & Joseph costumes – as lovely and as important as it is to remember his humble and symbolic birth. We need to fast forward to his adulthood to really truly remember why we celebrate our gift from God on the 25th December every year.
Jesus brought us HOPE.
A hope of new and everlasting life. He was sent to earth for a reason – to be the light to the world. He presents to us an eternal life if we choose to trust in the Lord – and he secured our salvation when he died upon the cross.
He demonstrated true OBEDIENCE.
As he walked through his life he was mistreated, mocked and scorned but he continued to follow his Father’s plan. Even in the most difficult and painful circumstances he bowed to his father’s will for his life. He never retaliated when he was mistreated, never sought revenge and continued his mission regardless of the abuse and questioning he received.
Jesus is LOVE.
He was the walking, talking perfect example of love…
“I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. this is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends.” (John 15:11-13 MSG)
Jesus showed us how to find real HAPPINESS.
If we are willing to give our gifts and life to him, if we focus on spreading happiness in his name and we embrace him as our constant friend who will always be there by our side then in turn he will provide for all our needs…
“So I tell you to stop worrying about what you will eat, drink, or wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds. They don’t plant, harvest, or gather the harvest into barns. Yet, your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they? Can any of you add a single hour to your life by worrying? Don’t ever worry and say, ‘What are we going to eat?’ or ‘What are we going to drink?’ or ‘What are we going to wear?’ Everyone is concerned about these things, and your heavenly Father certainly knows you need all of them. But first, be concerned about his kingdom and what has his approval. Then all these things will be provided for you. So don’t ever worry about tomorrow. After all, tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matt 6:25-27, 31-34)