Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The True Joy of Christmas

Merry Christmas!  Besides Easter, this is my favorite time of year—colorful lights, beautiful choral music, good food, and warm family memories.  But if this is all there is to Christmas, it’s robbed of its glory. 

The lights of Christmas wrapped around trees and hanging on houses, the star and angel toppers on Christmas trees, and the candles that carolers hold all remind me of the glorious day when the radiant angels met a group of forgotten, stunned shepherds in Bethlehem, telling them of the birth of the one and only who would save His people from their sins.  These lights also remind us of the star that appeared for the Magi to guide them to the manger.  But our lights are but shadows of the glorious flood of brightness that filled the sky on that awesome Christmas night, and even that sky pales in comparison to the Light that the shining angels proclaimed—the Light of salvation that had been born into the world.

After Christmas Day, most people feel relieved.  The mad rush of shopping and feasting is over.  Normal life can begin again.  This truly is the irony of all in the Christmas season.  Though gift giving is supposed to be a picture of the ultimate gift God gave to mankind in Jesus Christ, His Son, it has been turned into a commercialized frenzy of materialism.  The ultimate Gift frees us from greed and gives us life unto eternal purposes.  The ultimate Gift enables us to know God Himself, giving us peace that passes all understanding.  As Mike and I drove home from church on Sunday morning where we had sung Christmas carols and heard afresh the story of the Savior’s birth, we passed a line of traffic jamming itself into the mall.  I had to marvel.  On the Lord’s Day, people were so wrapped up in shadows and types of Christmas gifts that they had no time to stop and ponder the Lord of Christmas on the day He has gifted for us to rest.

I pray that all of you have found the true joy of Christmas—the joy of knowing Christ Jesus who was born in order to die for the sins of His people and to rise again unto eternal life for all who believe in Him.

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