Sunday, December 15, 2013
When Less is More...Christ is All!
It's been harder for me this year to get into the Christmas spirit, as we hit some rough waves from the economic downturn. I always enjoyed trying to find that perfect gift for loved ones, and decorating in our small home, the extra activities and the cards exchanged. This year, there is really no extra money for many of these things, and I am sure some who read this will be able to relate.
Uncertainty. It seems to be all the more common as I grow older. The American dream is not being realized like when I grew up without worries for tomorrow. But then I think of the world my Savior was born into. Was not Jesus born in a time of uncertainty for Mary, his mother and Joseph, who quickly had to get him out of the country because of the mad King Herod trying to murder all the baby boys? (Matthew 1:13-14)
The Jews were oppressed by their occupiers from Rome. Mary had to travel late in her pregnancy to register in the City of David. I don't think she had many amenities then and not even a room when they got there. No, not even a room to give birth to her firstborn Son.(Luke 2:7)
Parties, goodies to gorge on, searching for the perfect gift, beating ourselves into a frenzy to try and create a magical day. Is that what Christmas is all about? As a girl, I always got sad as Christmas morning wore into the afternoon, realizing the letdown as the short,gray December day faded into night.
"Is that all there is?"
I wondered why I still was longing in my soul for something more. I think of the verse in Matthew often when I consider all the people crowding the stores, fighting over the best gifts, myself included. "But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd." Matthew 9:36
I need Christ this Christmas, the only light shining in this darkened planet. Is that what you need too? We find that even the most expensive gift sitting under the tree will not satisfy that God-shaped hole the Creator put in each one of us. It is as if Christ is beholding the masses packing the malls all this world over and His heart wants to call out to them all, if only they would listen: "Come to Me,all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)
Is Christmas a heavy burden to you this year? You need only look to Him. Rest, because you don't have to be perfect. He is perfect for you. If you believe in Him, He shares His very own righteousness with you.
"But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness." Romans 4:5
Who are we trying to please this Christmas as we labor to get the perfect gifts, the perfectly decorated house, have the best Christmas dinner or party? Is that what Christ wants? He doesn't even ask us to remember His birth. It is His death He wants us to remember! "...and when He had given thanks, He broke it (bread*) and said: 'Take, eat, this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me." I Corinthians 11:24
This Christmas, wouldn't it be cool if He found us watching and waiting for His soon return? The Apostle Paul wrote: "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." (II Timothy 4:8)
Instead of having the "perfect" Christmas, let our hearts await for our perfect Savior!"
"And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts" II Peter 2: 19
Joy to the world, the Lord has come!
Maranatha! May our Lord come again soon!