Inspiration – Christmas begins with Christ

Pastor
Brian Gilroy,
High Prairie
Church of the
Nazarene.

What Christmas has become is not what Christmas was originally intended to be.
Christmas is not Walmart and its cute bear inviting us into a children’s toy wonderland.
Christmas is not “Black Friday or Cyber Monday” sales.
Christmas is not decorating contests or company parties or seasonal bonuses.
It is not even pageants at schools or churches.
Christmas has become a tradition. A tradition with secular memories of watching It’s a Wonderful Life or Miracle on 34th Street or the myriad of Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman, or Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer cartoons. A tradition when musical celebrities generate more buzz for their music by creating or performing Christmas Classics.
It is even Christmas vacation for schools – a time for travel to warmer climates or to visit with relatives far and wide. It has become a tradition when you are confronted with the Salvation Army kettle or asking for more donations for good causes.
We have lost the true meaning and origin of Christmas. Ask this generation to describe what Christmas is all about and some may know the story of the birth of Jesus.
However, the real question to ask is, “How has it impacted your life the rest of the year?”
John 1:14 says, “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Who is this Word who became flesh? Jesus Christ the Son of God, our Lord and Saviour.
“From His fullness we have all received grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is Himself God and is at the Father’s side, has made Him known.” [John 1:16-18]
God, Himself, the Creator, Sustainer and Redeemer, cut through time and space giving up his rights to be born of a virgin [Mary]; to be born in a poor family [a carpenter’s family, not a royal family]; to be born in a stable and laid in a feeding trough [not a hospital – not a sterile environment or in a palace – a dirty, smelly, cold stable].
Why? Because of His love for you!
He broke through time and space to begin his quest to eventually sacrifice His life to pay the price for our rebellion [our sins]. A price that we could not pay. A price He knew many would never want to pay. Instead, these people would rather deny the truth and hide their heads in the sand like an ostrich than face the truth that they need God’s grace and mercy.
We live in a broken, a very broken world because we have forgotten the truth that the One who created everything that exists could not and would not live without us. The truth is that if we die without repairing our relationship with God then we enter an eternity without God. Life may end for these mortal bodies, but our souls and spirits were created to be eternal.
“Once you were alienated from God and were hostile in your minds, engaging in evil deeds. But now He has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy, unblemished, and blameless in His presence – if indeed you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope of the gospel you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven. . .” [Colossians 1: 21-23]
Then we read:
“The true Light who gives light to every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God – children born not of blood, nor of the desire or will of man, but born of God.” [John 1: 9-13]
History has taught us that humanity loves to redefine the truth into its own image and philosophy. This year will you be caught up in the current image and philosophy of humanity or return to the true origin of Christmas and accept God’s gift of grace and forgiveness – a present that will change your life.

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