Christmas of 2015, I was recuperating from by-pass surgery. I looked at the long line of staples used to close up the wound on my chest. Not where I wanted to be. I so prayed that healing would come from God supernaturally and that I would not need doctors to repair my arteries. But I reflected on my blessings and the family I have that was and is there for me. There are still things that cause health problems due to this atherosclerosis that affects the vessels in my body, but I press on and fight. I fight by means of the grace that He gives me. And I ask for liberal portions of it daily coupled with mercy and revelation. So I spent much of that Christmas in reflective prayer and sitting before him listening.
I spend this Christmas season in contemplating all that has transpired over the last year and that which I see as problematic, as so many seem to have lost sight of who it is we serve. This gift the Father had prepared for us since the foundation of the world is so easily missed in its magnitude. We celebrate the birth of His Son without fully realizing that His death was already set. He came to die for us that we, through Him, might have life eternally. Christ was not of this world, yet gave up His place in the Trinity because of His deep and abiding love for us and because there was no other way for us to be saved. The word became flesh for us.
We see it prophesied in Isaiah 7:14 and 9:6 that the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son and shall call His name Immanuel (God with us) and unto us this Child shall be born and His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. But later in chapter 53, Isaiah tells us this Child will bear our griefs and carry our sorrows. He will be stricken and afflicted, wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement that brought us peace was upon Him and by His stripes we are healed. He was born into this world KNOWING what would be the price He must pay for us. Christmas is not just about the birth. What are we missing?
Wise men from Persia followed a star to worship before the messiah. They were astrologers. Today they might be rejected by a close minded church. A man named Simeon waited his whole life knowing he’d not see death before he would see and prophesy over the Child, as did Anna, a prophetess who served God faithfully, and saw her reward. Yet with all this knowledge available, and the whole world testifying of His glory, we seem to be inundated with discordant notes. What is this? Too many in the church follow after that which offers promises, but is not the promise. That which offers the way, but is not the light. Paul warned us in Colossians 2:8 “to beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” Yet so many still follow things that entice their soulish realm. You try to decide which sins are acceptable and which leader has sins that are the least problematic for you. I do not recognize this God being put forth as my Redeemer. I do not follow a God that limps! Yet too many will take on a limp and no longer even recognize it as a major spiritual handicap.
We must embrace the One that is the light and provides a path for us to walk in. Can you truly be that lowly stable that Christ can take up residence in? We are called to be His temple. What is this that you see this Christmas season? It is only Him. We celebrate Him giving us His only son. He asks that you not only receive Him but so embrace Him that you give up the right to yourself. There is no other way to be His habitation. Seek Him while He may be found. Call upon Him while He is near.
This has been a trying year and it does not appear that it will abate. I pray that the God of love and peace be with you and guide you in all that you do. I pray His thoughts be what floods your mind. I pray everything that is contrary to His will for your life is taken captive to the obedience of Jesus. May the peace of God rule in your heart in all circumstances. He who has called you is faithful. I pray the Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace. Walk in His blessings. Merry Christmas.