Monday, December 23, 2013

What Kind Of Christmas Would That Be?

                Christmas is here, it is upon us. Many of us are rushing around picking up last minute gifts, waiting at airports to take us to our holiday destinations. But what is Christmas without Christ? If it wasn't for Christ there would be no Christmas. Yes, there are many other holidays that fall around this time, but December 25th is the only one that involves Christ. As I sat down this morning to offer up my praise and prayers, I prayed for a young girl that we have invited for Christmas dinner. She does not have much family, and the family that she does have is not very loving. My daughter brought this to our attention back around Thanksgiving; she told me that she would be all alone on Christmas. This broke my heart, and I invited her to come and spend Christmas with us.
                I have to admit, I was surprised that she said yes. But, perhaps, for this young woman, an offer of kindness and a warm family to surround her was what she was hoping for. As I prayed for this young woman, I prayed that the Lord Jesus would shine in her heart; that we would be the light in her darkness, and that somehow, someway, the Lord God would open her heart to Him. I do not know much about this girl, only that her life has had a lot of struggles, a lot of pain, and a lot of disappointment. For some reason, the Lord has asked us to open our hearts and our home to this lost girl. As I continued to pray, I realized that is exactly why Jesus came. He came to open the hearts of a lost and broken world. He came to shine the light of His glory into the darkness that enveloped us, and His light is what we celebrate each Christmas day.
                “Then Jesus spoke to them saying, ‘I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.’” John 8:12
   Jesus is the light that came into the darkness of this world and showed us the glory of God, and His desire to dwell with us. He was called “Immanuel” which means, “God with us.” What if we took this Christmas, and instead of filling it with presents, and food, and self, what if we took this Christmas to the dark and lonely of this world? What if this Christmas we took time out of our busy traditions and reached out to someone who was lost, broken, and lonely? What if we took this Christmas to reach out for Christ, and to be the light in someone’s darkness, as He was in ours?
                My Pastor said something yesterday that has stuck to me like glue. He said that we have been given a great gift, not only have we been given eternal life, which is a great benefit, but we have been given the gift of God dwelling in us. Isn’t that the message of Christmas? That God came down to man to restore them to a right relationship with Him, and in so doing, bestowing on us the gift of eternal life. Isn’t that the message we are to proclaim to the lost and broken of this world? The message that God was born of a virgin, was born in the likeness of sinful men, reconciling us to Him, so that He could dwell with us and have a relationship with us. Isn’t that what Christmas is all about?
                What if we all took a plate of Christmas dinner to that homeless man on the corner, and shared with him the good news that God has come? What if we all stopped and looked around and were willing to invite someone who we know needs Christ into our home? What if we were willing to be the lights He has called us to be? What kind of Christmas would that be?

              My Christmas prayer is not for things, or for wants, but my Christmas prayer is that the Lord Jesus would transform my heart, that He would bring light into the heart of this young woman, that He would be present amidst all the worldly presents and be the greatest gift that she could ever receive. My Christmas prayer is that we, as a body of Jesus Christ, would be willing to be the lights He has called us to be. “You are the light of the world.” (Matthew 5:14) Let us be the lights, let us be a reflection of His light as He chose to come into this world for the lost, the broken, the hopeless and the homeless. Maybe if we started living Christmas like this, then maybe His light would outshine them all, and maybe, just maybe this Christmas would be a Christmas of Salvation for many.

                I do not know what you’re Christmas plans are, what traditions you may have. But I do pray that for all of us who read these words, we would open our hearts and maybe even our homes to the lost, the broken, and the hopeless and be the light in their darkness, like Christ was in ours. I pray that the Lord Jesus Christ would show us how to be the light in someone’s world and to show them that Christmas is all about Christ. In Jesus name, to Him be all glory, honor and praise. Amen and Amen.