Monday, December 22, 2008

The Meaning of Christmas

As we have prepared for Christmas, several events have me thinking about the meaning of Christmas. You hear people talking about the gifts, the company, the cooking and the cleaning in preparation for Christmas. It is hustle and bustle and making sure everyone has a present or a card or a cooked goody. We ALL get caught up in it. But the true meaning of Christmas is the birth of a baby. One small baby born in humble circumstances to a humble, pure woman whose espoused husband had to take on her "shame" and put aside the gossip of the day.

Several events have me thinking about this:

1. The Caylee Anthony case where a child's life was senselessly snuffed out for no reason. Where lies and innuendos are played over and over again in the media and theories are put out on every side. But NO ONE talks about what/who was taken. An innocent child died and was thrown away like yesterday's garbage. But surely in those last moments of her little life, the Lord Jesus took her by the hand and took her to the Promised Land. He held that baby in His arms and wiped away every tear. He explained to her the purpose of her life and how her story would touch others to make them realize how truly short life is and how we must TREASURE the gifts God has given us in our children. Why God allowed such horror we will never understand. But that little girl has a purpose. Her life was not wasted and God did not take her away. The hands of another human did. Like Cain and Abel the Lord cries out at this and He shed His precious blood for her murderer and for the pain of that little girl. He, the Master, took her pain and fear upon His back. He will explain it to Caylee as only HE can.

2. Yesterday, my husband received a call from one of his bosses. A co-worker who is approximately 38-40 years old had gone to church and come home. His family had gone out shopping and his 18 year old daughter was out with friends. The 18 year old came home and found the tread mill running and her father face down beside it, dead from a heart attack. It will not matter what gifts those children and the wife have under the tree, their very lives have been turned upside down. Yet in the grief is promise because this man knew the Lord as Savior. Their is a promise and a hope that all those who loved him will see him again because one baby....came to save the world. That family is walking through the valley but surely the Lord Jesus is carrying them.

3. A friend lost her mother just a few weeks ago. As she struggles this first Christmas without her mother the only wish she has is that she could have more time with her mother. She too has the hope of all Christians. However, that does not take away the pain. It does not take away the grief. Yet because one little baby, came to us, the King of Kings, Lord of Lord to bring "peace on earth and goodwill toward men" she can rest in the promises of her Savior to help her walk through the grief.

So as I ponder on these things it has me wondering about Mary. She KNEW what the angel Gabriel told her about the child conceived in her womb. She KNEW that this child was the Messiah. She faced ridicule and shame of others who did not believe her story. Joseph could have had her put away in the least. However, in that day adultery was a stoning offense. She would have been considered and adulteress because she was betrothed to Joseph. But because he listened to what he was told by the Lord's messenger he willingly took her as his wife and this child as his son. As Mary gazed into the face of her newborn son, she saw God's face. She held the Savior of the world lovingly as only a mother can. And she knew, she may not have fully understood but she knew. Had it not been for that lowly, humble birth, Jesus could not have said He understood our plight. He WILLINGLY chose to humble Himself for the sins of a world who did not care about God or anyone else for that matter. Jesus.....HE IS the true meaning of Christmas. He is the ONLY meaning of Christmas.

The tinsel, the presents, the pretty lights, and all those baked goods are nice. I am thankful we have that. Gathering with loved ones is beyond priceless. However, when we come together we need to celebrate JESUS. The ONE, the ONLY reason for Christmas. Our Lord came down to be "with us" so that we might LIVE. That is the meaning of Christmas and I am awed by my KING. Thank you JESUS for your GIFT because it is a gift that never wears out. It never gets old. It can't be purchased or sold. It can't be returned for a different gift. It is free for the taking to whosoever will come.

My God, my King, My Savior I adore you and I praise You for everything in my life. Apart from you I am nothing and can do nothing. YOU ARE MY REASON or everything.


Amy said...

Very nicely written. It's so true, we need to keep our focus on the spectacular gift of Christ.

Sorry to hear about the loses.

Thelma said...

thanks so much.

Burkulater said...

It is a blessed assurance to know that heaven is waiting for those who believe. I'm so glad for the hope you all have in Christ. It is truly something to meditate on this Christmas season.

Thelma said...

and it is that faith and that hope that is free to anyone who wants it. It really is that simple and that is what astounds me. And keeping the message of Chrismas alive in the holiday season is what gives me peace even when my kids are acting the way they acted today....LOL.