I hope you all had wonderful Christmas. The 'wonderful' and 'merry' part of Christmas is unique to each of us. What makes Christmas so special to one, may not resonate with someone else. We tend to look at the exterior trappings - lights and decorated trees, special food, gatherings with friends and relatives; maybe music is an important part of this holy day for you. And, of course there are the gifts we give to one another. Some are able to give lovely expensive gifts, others are like the little drummer boy, and simply give their heart to someone they love.
The act of serving one another can be the best gift of all. Many from our church spent much time and great effort this year to give us the gift of a memorable candle-light service honoring our Lord's birth. Our pastor took great delight in pointing out that over 2,000 years ago, this child born in Bethlehem and laid in a manger, had come to change the world - forever! Jesus is the gift and the giver of gifts...faith, love, hope and eternal life.
Memories abound this time of year. Memories of past Christmases, of family who are no longer with us, of favorite foods, cherished gifts and family traditions that we hold dear. But this can also be a lonely time for many when events trigger both good and sad emotions. Hold tightly to the good and trust God for the sad. He loves us more than we can ever understand and has a purpose for all that happens in our life.
I remember shopping for our five children. My husband often took a day of vacation in early December and we'd take off early in the morning for a whole day of shopping, trying our best to fill our children's wish list. One year everyone got a new bicycle. 'Santa' was up most of Christmas Eve night assembling those bikes. Sometimes I got it totally wrong, like when our daughter's seemed to take an interest in their bedrooms and notice things like the sheets on their bed and I bought some really great sheets one year for a Christmas present. One of them opened the box, and with an incredulous look on her face, said "Sheets?"
The gifts brought to our Savior were indeed unique and profound in their meaning. The Wise Men brought gold, a gift worthy of a King, incense, a symbol of atonement, and myrrh, an anointing oil used during the preparation for burial, Jesus would die for us. Jesus, God in the flesh - John 1:14.
So, what now? Embrace the truth of Jesus, who He is, what He's done for us, and how powerful His love is for us. Then, live and walk in the knowledge of this everyday. The world can't hurt us when we are sure of our final destination. We won't crumble in disappointment when our plans don't work out, our faith won't be shaken when we suffer sickness, loss and confusion. And best of all, we never need to feel that we don't have a friend - we have a friend in Jesus, the best forever friend there is!
Thank you Lord for coming to us in human form and changing the world! Thank you for changing us personally, individually. We are humbled before You, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.
Bobbe Van Hise
- Over the past few years my blog has been visited by people from all over the world. Very few know me, or of me, they simply are looking information concerning the Bible and discover my blog. After many years of intense study and teaching, I've come to believe we are vulnerable to misguided and incorrect teaching if we don't understand for ourselves the teaching of God's Word. My 'hot buttons' are - grace, sovereignty, exhortations and sanctification. If you understand these basic principles of Scripture, and apply them to daily life, you will understand what it means to have peace, joy and absolute security in any circumstance.