New Living Translation (NLT)
The Birth of Jesus the Messiah
18 This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Just so we are clear and in agreement, does God really give a specific date for the birth of His only Son? Perhaps God did this for a reason beyond our own comprehension, yet I feel there is a specific reason for His not stating a date. What if the focus is not to be on the birth of His son, but rather on the purpose for which He was born into this world. I know birthdays are cool and all and can be milestones and what not, however what is the reality of Jesus’ birth? He was given life here on earth so that we may receive eternal life with our heavenly Father, was He not? I feel we have all lost the meaning of Christmas, and maybe, just maybe we need to pause this holiday season and rest in God for awhile to see what He has to say.
I feel an urgency in my spirit to search for God in this season of hustle and bustle, frantic shopping and getting the best deals around town. I actually don’t even feel like getting my tree out this year or doing the traditional stuff until I can put my finger on just what God wants me to see. I feel, He is showing me through others, that it is about giving and having hope. We always seem to be in the receiving mode and I believe this hinders us from getting the full benefits God has waiting for us. If we are constantly in the “gimme stage” we find it hard to give. God created man for a relationship and so (bear with me) He was sorta in the “gimme stage”. He wanted someone to worship Him and give Him glory. He desired to be loved by His very own creation.
Well, when things went wrong, He had to come up with a different way of love and so He gave us a chance to redeem ourselves and offered up to be sacrificed, His one and ONLY Son, Jesus. Should this not bear more significance for us then decorating a tree or wrapping a billion presents or freaking out because of Christmas when we do not have enough funds to pay our bills? I don’t think God gave us His Son just so we could feel hopeless during the holiday season. How many get depressed or frustrated? How many countless others go into debt? How many lives were injured or lost during Black Friday events over the past few years? We need a wake up call! God surely intended us to make a fuss over His Son, but not like we are doing in modern days.
This season should be about giving. It should be about love, hope, joy, peace and grace; not about finances, hopelessness, depression and anger. It should be a season of resting in God, family gatherings (without the pressures of gifts), home cooked meals, days of baking cookies with the children and many other things God would love to see. It should be about helping at the shelter or finding a way to help those in desperate need. It should be about finding food for those who lack and clothing the needy in our communities. Maybe if we all spent more time giving of our time we would be better at giving gifts: our God given gifts. What will Christmas be like in the next ten years? Will it be all about texting and Skyping to relatives instead of visiting? Will the objective of the great sales be just to upgrade what we already have at home instead of finding just the right small gift to brighten someones day?
The further I walk with God the more I want to run from the things of this world. We seem to have to make everything bigger and better. We seem never satisfied with what we receive. How can we change this? Not sure. Self examination of what Christmas really means to us individually, meaning we would need to spend some serious amounts of time devoted to just God-time. What if we spent one extra hour a week to reflect on God? What if we bought one less gift and bought food for the nearby food pantry. What if we went random Christmas caroling with a group of teenagers just for fun? What if we decided to make Christmas all about giving and not receiving? What if we had our hearts in the same place God did when He gave us His only Son?
Yup, lots of what ifs there….hmmmm…pausing to think about such what ifs, I purpose an idea for the first 25 days of December. I am going to post on Facebook a photo of something Christmas and then write a sentence on how I should be able to relate this to the birth of our precious Savior. I invite you to do the same. I then will write a blog each day with the same picture and try to show how I feel about it in more detail. Feel free to comment your ideas or a picture in particular you may want me to take. Please tag me in the photo, I want to share in this adventure with you. I invite you to share this with your friends and families. Let’s see what happens if we turn our focus on God for just a few minutes each day before Christmas arrives. Maybe we can further understand what God really wants us to glean from the holiday called Christmas.