This is a story about yours truly. Not very many years ago, my friends threatened an intervention regarding my Christmas sweaters. I wore them long past in vogue, but way before they came back in style as “ugly Christmas sweaters”. (For context see the pic of my twin sister and I in our reindeer gear.) I record ALL the Christmas programming just in case we have time to get to it before the holiday ends. I scour the paper (back in the day) and the internet for festive activities to drag my family to – including my poor retail manager husband. He works his tail off this time of year and yet I show him no mercy.
I want my decorations up the day after Thanksgiving, and the Christmas music to play exclusively then as well. I even want Christmas carols at church for the whole month of December. But alas, no one asks my opinion. Several years ago I even invented a thankfulness tree. It’s truthfully a veiled excuse to put the tree up November 1st (with leaves and pumpkins and decorative cards with the people and things we thank God for written on them) so that it’s easier and quicker to deck it in red and green once we finish the turkey and dressing!
If I had the only vote, I would watch exclusively Christmas movies and TV shows from December 1st through the 25th. And since I do have the only vote on what I read, I set all but Christmas books and bible studies aside, even if I’m in the middle of something else!
I love all the Christmas things. The lights, the wrapping paper and ribbon, the scarves and Santa hats, the cookies and smells. I admit I get carried away. I surround myself with cheesy, sappy sentimentality. It’s over the top, but I don’t care. Yes, Christmas was a magical time during my childhood. But looking back excites me much less than looking forward.
Christmas commemorates the birth of Jesus. That happened over 2,000 years ago. But I celebrate because He still lives, and He has big plans for me and all who believe. God’s word tells us His plan.
In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 1 Peter 1:3-6 NIV
God sent Jesus to earth to die – taking the punishment for all my sins and yours. Because of this, believing in Jesus for salvation guarantees us a place with Him in heaven someday. We call it an “inheritance” because we become His child. And parents typically pass on good things to their children. The Bible tells us that God does this times 1000 (Matthew 7:11). And God protects us with His power until the time comes to go to Him. That doesn’t mean nothing bad will ever happen to us (hello, 2020). But that He doesn’t leave us alone to deal with the troubles we encounter in our time on a broken earth.
For these reasons I get fired up about Christmas. Yes, even this year. Because through all we suffer, He watches over us to fulfill His purposes in us. And when His will is fulfilled, He rewards those of us who believe by His much more tangible presence in a perfect new home. We have the victory, because that baby left heaven to come to earth. Woohoo!
So my prayer for you is this:
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 NIV
And now for this week’s featured post!
If you are looking for something new to study in your time with the Lord, read Michele Morin’s compelling argument in Why You Should Read Isaiah this Christmas!
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