There are some days when I read my bible and have trouble seeing the application and come away a little flat.
He visited! The God that created the universe sent His Son to visit earth! He visited His people!
Who are His people?
Psalm 100:3 NASB says “Know that the Lord Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture”!
But why did He visit His people?
He visited His people and accomplished redemption for His people. His reason for “visiting” earth was accomplished-finished- when He died upon the cross for our sins. He gave us a priceless gift that is fueled by His love and affects the very core of our identity. The gift of eternal life is ours if we believe that Jesus is God’s son and that He died for us…His people. It is a spiritual adoption as His child.
The reason we celebrate Christmas goes beyond his birth. It is looking back with awe and wonder at His ultimate purpose…to die on the cross for our redemption.
Last year, I missed Christmas, well so I thought. I was in the hospital twice in December. My husband couldn’t visit me at all because he was sick too with a terrible bout of flu that turned into pneumonia. I remember how sweet it was when he told me that Christmas without me was like a Christmas tree with no lights (ahhhhh). But as I pondered “missing Christmas” a year later, I realized that I didn’t miss Christmas at all. I thought about how present Christ was in the quiet hours of the night…about the sweet nurses that worked on Christmas day caring for me and trying to cheer me up…about the chances to share the love of Christ with them…about the friends that visited and called and prayed. I was surrounded with the Christ of Christmas who is not limited to our situation, no matter how dark it may feel.
“The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great light, and those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death, upon them a light dawned” Matthew 4:16 (NASB)
My friend Kaye, who unexpectedly lost her husband 4 months ago, is a shining example of pushing through her own sorrow, determined to celebrate Christmas this year. How can she do this while her grief is so raw? I believe it is because Kaye too knows that she won’t miss Christmas this year or any other year because the Christ of Christmas lives within her walking closely with her on her healing journey. She points to Christ as her source of strength because she knows that in Him, there is no darkness, and I guarantee you that she will be shining that Light on others that are hurting this year.
Luke 1:78-79 (NASB)
Because of the tender mercy of our God,
With which the Sunrise from on high will visit us,
To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death
To guide our feet into the way of peace”
Lord, I pray for all of those who are sitting in darkness this year. You know the reasons for this, but the trials can be so hard to bear. Lift up their eyes Lord, and help them to trust You! Give them hope and the joy deep within their heart. May the Christ of Christmas shine upon them and give them peace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.