Sunday, December 24, 2017

The Secret of Christmas

Christmas is about Jesus born in a manager. “Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to,” (Philippians 2:6).
Christmas is about Mary. “And Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word,’” (Luke 1:38). 

  It was a moment in history marked for salvation by the Creator of everything who chose to be born with nothing. He became one of us, born of the Virgin Mary; even though he was God, he took the form of a servant. “And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross,”  (Philippians 2:8).
What are so many missing that this holiest of moments in human history gets buried under consumerism?  It is the humility of emptying ourselves so that God can fill us. Simply receiving all that Jesus came to bring us is the greatest gift of Christmas.  To receive it, we let go of our desire for control, like Mary did when she needed a place to stay. If we die to ourselves, Jesus can be born in our hearts.  
We don’t know what that will mean, just as Mary did not know how she would become the mother of the Savior: “And Mary said to the angel, ‘How will this be, since I am a virgin?’” (Luke 1:34).
We cannot control all of the things that worry us.  We cannot create a perfect Christmas at our houses.  We can only stop and empty our hearts of everything except Jesus and let him take over. 
Just as the manager did not turn into a luxury hotel after Jesus was born, the angels still came and the shepherds knew. “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,  “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 10 2-14).

Merry Christmas! Peace on earth and goodwill towards men.

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