- Isaiah 9:6 (ESV)
Those of you who read my Sunday blog know that I've entitled it Sunday Morning Coming Down, named for that great song sung by Johnny Cash and written by Kris Kristofferson of the same name. The song talks about a man, waking up Sunday morning after a heavy bout of drinking the night before, having a couple of early morning beers to clear his head and then heading out down the street to the ringing of the church bells and the voices of children in Sunday school singing their songs. He thinks back about those days long ago and feels alone. I don't know if the song was written about Kris or Johnny or someone else in particular, but I know that the Christ Child born on Christmas over two thousand years offers an end to loneliness and emptiness for anyone who answers His call.
Christmas 2016 is at long last upon us, a day to celebrate the birth of Our Savior and a wonderful time to recommit ourselves and our lives to service in His name. This day has been celebrated for centuries, but so often mankind has remembered the significance of it only to fall back into a lifestyle that is certainly not in tune with what He has taught and what He expects from us.
Now in this modern day, when so many think that mankind is capable of doing all things for ourselves, that a God is not needed and that there is no need to prepare for what comes after this life is done, it is easy to falter. But think for a moment back to the words from the Bible above. They were written over seven hundred years before the birth of Christ by the Prophet Isaiah, a Jew and a mortal human just like each of us, yet a man who was given the gift of prophecy from God. His mission was to inform his people of what God had planned and nothing was more important than his prediction of the birth of Christ so far in advance. Some listened, some did not but it came to pass just like he said it would, just like the destruction of Jerusalem and the fall of Israel did in the interim as well.
And now we find ourselves over two thousand seven hundred years after Isaiah and the Story of Jesus still captures many of us as it did in times past. And, like times past, some listen and believe and others do not. And that was designed to be by God Himself, for by giving us the gift of free will, believing or not is our choice, but only through that belief can we receive the gift that was the purpose of Jesus' birth, life and death - the gift of Eternal Life.
So on this Sunday Morning Coming Down, this Christmas Day, remember why He came, what He accomplished and what he has to offer each of us if only we make the decision to believe. It's a personal choice, no one can make it for us, but it offers a future that makes any earthly dream look inconsequential.
Merry Christmas, everybody. And may the light of Our Lord, Jesus Christ shine brightly on you this day and every day.