Many who are off for an extended vacation will spend time returning gifts and replacing them. Others will enjoy relaxing and visiting with out-of-town friends and relatives and, of course, there are usually a number of Christmas parties still taking place up until New Year's Day. But, don't we have something that's much more important that we should consider? Isn't there something about the story of Jesus' birth that should stay with us and influence us always, not just at Christmas?
I guess the answer to that question depends on what each of us believes Christmas truly is and, of course, we are each entitled to think what we will. That's what free will is all about. So, if we merely see Christmas as a secular holiday, a long weekend or longer off from work and a big party for our family and friends with lots of presents and good food then, when it's over, it's over and we go about our merry way the way we always have. We return to being self-centered, with lots of complaining and dissatisfaction about things at work and in our lives, being impatient when things don't go our way immediately and the snark, oh, the snark, we use as we think that only we have the answers to all that matters in life.
But what if, instead of the above, we took the time to realize that Christmas is something and spiritual, far beyond the toys, the food and the showing of ourselves at a big church service? What if we admitted to ourselves that we don't have all the answers, in fact, very few of them? That would require us to admit our weakness and our frailties and turn to the One who can change us, the One we celebrate on Christmas Day.
In that precious baby boy born on that day so long ago we should see hope, love, joy and promise, the promise of a future beyond anything we can humanly imagine. And when we realize that, whenever and wherever we might be, it opens us completely, our heart and our mind, to the Holy Spirit. He wants to be our guidance counselor to keep us on track and He will, if we let Him. And that, while difficult to follow sometimes, is what we need to do. For if we are sincere and truly accept the grace and love of Jesus, we will give our life to Him and live for Him first.
As our inside connection to Jesus, our Redeemer, the Holy Spirit, sent to us by Jesus after His ascension as our internal guidance counselor, can guide us to the answers to all problems and, what's more, help us secure a place in The Kingdom when this life is done. How? By putting us in touch with Jesus who will take up our case for Eternity with the Father Himself as our Mediator. The birth of the Christ Child added the concept of forgiveness and eternity to the old Law of God and made it human with the opportunity for us to change, but only really understood after His brutal death thirty-three years after His birth by shedding His blood for our sins.. And if we recognize that His life opened the way for us to achieve that eternity, then we should readily change our ways and accept and really follow Him. It will change us and we will look at things differently and the future will be forever. What a glorious opportunity it offers and it was given to us as a complete act 0f love.
The offer is readily available to anyone, no matter what is in our past and it does, as stated, require a major commitment, one made openly and honestly. And that is to have faith and believe in Our Savior, Jesus Christ by that very faith alone without proof.
And here's an idea for how we can make that commitment at this time of year. Why not make it our New Year's Resolution? Pray over it, put it in our hearts and write it down. Then. look at that written document every day as a reminder and live it in all that we do. Just think of the power it would provide if we all did it together. Now that would truly change the world. There will be more on this later in just a few days. Take heart and follow our King.