Merry Christmas everyone, and Happy New Year! This time of year is hard, stressful, and down right difficult, while others find great celebration and fun, which camp do you fall in? I fall into both, I’m sad because I lost my father December 11th, 1998, he wanted to stay alive long enough to celebrate one more Christmas, he just couldn’t hang in there, Cancer took him quickly. Christmas was his favorite time of year, he would decorate the house, and I mean you could see the house, it was all streamers, and lights, you name it….he would go over the top every year. My Dad made Christmas supper special. So sadness enters my heart at this time of year.
On the other side, I get pretty giddy at Christmas Time, it’s a time to celebrate a great many things. This year, we are doing a traditional Ukrainian meal, no meat….ya I know : ) I’m a meat-a-tarian! I don’t think that’s a word, but it’s mine. I eat meat, it’s what I do!
I decorate the house every year, but not like my Father did, I’m more on the conservative side, but each year I like to add something new to the mix. Most importantly, this is when my kids come home to visit, there is nothing else like it, I love my boys. I hope you get to be with those that matter most to you, in the end, they are the difference makers in your life.
This time of year we celebrate the birth of Jesus, although it’s meaning has changed, the world has moved away from the significance of the scriptures. But let me share some thoughts on a few verses that share a message of hope.
Taken from the NIV version of the Bible, appropriate for this time called Christmas.
This passage and all like them, is always about Jesus, it always was, it was never about us. Everything is about Jesus. The hope of Jesus, the hope of freedom, the hope that he will change the world and lead us to a better place.
Imagine an Angel coming before you, a lowly person in stature, one of the lowest in your day, a Sheppard, that you would be chosen to learn of what was about to happen before anyone else. Imagine your confusion, imagine your fear, can you imagine what it means to have the glory of the Lord shining around you, and then to be told not to be afraid. How would such an event test your faith, to me, this moment in time, shows us what faith looks like. The shepherds didn’t run, they didn’t say we don’t believe you, they said, ” let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened”, not knowing the significance of what was about to happen. The coming of Jesus, God’s only begotten son came to be with us, imagine.
These verses revealed a number of things to me, here are a couple:
1.) God uses us all (even the lowly shepherds of our world), regardless of stature and what others think about us.
2. This is an example of how we should live in fear of God, how we should respond when the Lord sends his messengers, and when the Lord shines on us, as he does each and every day we draw breath.
These verses are about the celebration of Jesus, and the hope he brought (brings) to his people.
We aren’t ready for his birth, we aren’t ready for his return, but we should be prepared to do as he commands, without faith you have nothing.
I hope this message brings some hope at this time of year, I know I am encouraged, and can’t wait for 2014, so Merry Christmas to you!