It’s that time of year, again, when we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
There are many who will argue that this was not the time of the year Jesus was actually born (they are right).
There are many who will argue that this holiday coincides with a decidedly pagan holiday (they’re right).
But even though they are correct, they miss the spirit of the season – which is the celebration of the Gift of God — Himself, wrapped in flesh — to us.
One of the chief things Jesus represents is joy to an otherwise joyless world. Let’s take a look at the text:
And the angel said unto them, Fear not:for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (Luke 2:10-14)
The angels spoke of great news that would be for ALL people. Not some. Not the Jews. Not the Saints. Not the “frozen-chosen!”
John 3:16 tells us how God so loved THE WORLD! Jesus is the Gift of God, Himself. Jesus is more than a gift from God (which, by the way, would be pretty cool), He is God, Himself.
Emmanuel. God. With. Us.
And this is news, folks. A recollection of what has already happened. The angels were giving a report of what had happened before the foundation of time and how it would impact mankind in the present.
Imagine that…God reached out from eternity to touch our finite selves.
The angels said that the baby Jesus would be found in a manger. The manger is a stable for keeping animals but traditional imagery has the majesty of Jesus clothed in the humility of swaddling cloths and lying in a feeding trough. He is the bread of life, presented in a vessel for feeding animals.
Imagine with me that you’re Mary and that this baby you’re feeding would someday minister the bread of life to you?
Then, in the midst of this, the Angels had a praise party. When man first showed up on the scene, the angels asked God, “Who is man that you are mindful of him?” (Psalms 8:4). In other words, what is this thing you’ve created that you find so important. But, when Jesus arrived, the angels sang praises to God for the man who would fix everything the first man messed up.
God is so mindful of you that He sent Himself not only to fix your problems but to re-engineer you to overcome them!
The last thing the angels proclaimed was peace on earth and good will towards men. When man sinned, he went into open rebellion against God. But, when Jesus came, God declared the war over and extended the ultimate manifestation of His Love and Grace toward us. In other words, God is not sitting on His throne waiting to smite us with famine, poverty, or plague whenever we mess up. On the contrary, He sent Himself to dwell within us and made Himself a dwelling place for us so that he would be forever pleased with us!
Can I keep it real simple? Jesus brings joy!
That’s what this season is about. So while folks rant and rave about time and seasons, just lovingly remind them that absolute joy is available to them — if they would only trust and rest in Him.
Jesus is the Gift of Love.
Jesus is the Gift of Grace.
Jesus is the Gift of Liberty.
Jesus is the Gift of God, Himself.
Because He’s just that into you!
© 2014 – Derrick Day (www.derrickday.com)