Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Final Christmas Fictions

Fiction 7: Christmas is all you dreamed of and more. No . . . truthfully, most Christmases never live up to our expectations. We watch too many feel-good movies, each one complete with a Christmas miracle, and then we wonder why our Christmases pale in comparison. The answer to this is simple: Expect nothing. Then everything that happens will be a blessing.

And remember this: you are not due a Christmas miracle, for the promised miracle happened 2,010 years ago. God kept the promise he made to Eve in the garden and sent a Redeemer, a man who would suffer as we suffer, feel what we feel, experience the joys and sorrows of the human condition. Yet this Redeemer would be fully God, and able not only to take the sins of the world on himself, but to offer the gift of eternal and abundant life to anyone who receives him. We enter into a covenant, or contract, with God, and we are promised salvation from hell and abundant life. In return, we surrender our lives and promise loving obedience.

“But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to those who believe in His name. . .”

That, my dear friends, is the reason we celebrate Christmas. It has nothing to do with presents under the tree, and everything to do with THE gift on a cross. Christmas is not glittery and lavish, it is simple and humble, and should be celebrated by believers who are so filled with God’s love that they can’t help splashing out onto the people around them.

No matter what sorrows you may bring into the Christmas season, lay them at Jesus’ feet. But don’t go away empty-handed—accept his gift of life abundant, or love, joy, peace, goodness, gentleness, kindness, and long-suffering. Make conscious decisions to simplify your traditions, and be brave enough to eradicate those that bring more hassle than joy.

And know this—no matter how secularists try to take Christ out of Christmas, they simply can’t do it. Might as well try to take George Washington out of Washington. Because this is often the loneliest time of the world for some, because it is a time when expectations aren’t met, you have a heaven-sent opportunity to proclaim the Good News to the brokenhearted. As Isaiah the prophet wrote: 1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,

because the LORD has anointed me

to bring good news to the poor;[

he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,

to proclaim liberty to the captives,

and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor,

and the day of vengeance of our God;

to comfort all who mourn;

3to grant to those who mourn in Zion—

to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,

the oil of gladness instead of mourning,

the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;

that they may be called oaks of righteousness,

the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified.

May God richly bless you this year, and may you have a most blessed Christmas.



Anonymous said...

A perfect ending to this series, Angie. God's gift to us is really all that matters ... all the rest is superfluous. Have a Blessed Christmas. Clyde

Anonymous said...

Great series, Angie! I especially love the part about a Christmas miracle. Thanks!

Nat said...

Wow! I'm sharing this one with the kids at our next Bible Study. Thanks and Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Amen, and amen! As usual, Angie, concise and compelling.

Wishing you joy and peace as we celebrate the greatest Gift.

Mary Kay

Sibella Giorello said...

Great series, Angie. Thank you for your generous and transparent love for people.

The merriest of Christmases to you -- without one expectation, and every possible delight.

Sibella Giorello

Angela said...

Thank you Sibella, Mary Kay, Nat, Clyde, and anonymous. God bless us, everyone!