It’s December 1! The Christmas season has officially commenced. Thanksgiving is over, and it’s time to put up our trees, finish (or start!) our Christmas shopping, and make plans for the activities of the season. We are now allowed to listen to Christmas music without being judged! J BUT before we get wrapped up in all of the extra “stuff” that the season brings, let’s focus our minds and hearts on the true reason that Christmas is celebrated.
JESUS. Immanuel. God with us. God becoming man in the form of a humble baby.
JESUS. The name above all names. The wonderful counselor. The mighty God. The everlasting father. The prince of peace.
JESUS. The lamb that was slain. The unblemished, willing sacrifice. The compassionate Savior.
As cheesy and cliché as it sounds, Jesus is the reason for the Christmas season.
When I was growing up, our church always lit the advent candles each Christmas season as a reminder of the coming of Jesus. Each year, different children were selected to light one of the candles. It was an exciting thing to be chosen for this honor, although we didn’t quite understand the significance and beauty of the advent candles. I would anxiously await the year that I would have a turn to light a candle.
As we enter this Christmas season, expect Jesus to be present. Expect His presence in your life. Wait for it, seek it, and relish in it. Relish in each stage of the Christmas story. See it through the eyes of an eager child. As a child excitedly lighting the advent candle, wait in anxious anticipation and awe that Jesus came because the God of the universe loves YOU. Just as the Israelites were waiting with anxious anticipation for the Promised One, we, too, can expect the Messiah to come in new and fresh ways as we set our minds and hearts on Him. Do not let this Christmas season pass you by in a whirlwind of busy shopping, parties, and traditions. Rather, take time to rest in the fact that Jesus intentionally came to dwell among us so that we might have life eternally. Because of His sacrifice, there is forgiveness of sins, our sins, yours and mine. Because of His sacrifice, we no longer fear death. Because of His sacrifice, we can have hope in the midst of heartbreaking times. When we ponder the true meaning of Christmas, the commercial part of Christmas seems really trivial. This is not to say that the shopping, parties, and traditions are sinful; rather, they should not be central – Jesus should remain the focus. So, this Christmas season, ponder the Messiah. Wait in expectation as you relive the Christmas story. Become like a child in your faith as you anticipate Christ being present in your life this season, and every season. Expect the Messiah, and be blessed beyond measure and humbled to the point of worship at His coming!
I hope you’ll join me each day of December in this Christmas series, "Expecting the Messiah,” to be encouraged and challenged to dwell on Christ every minute of this Christmas season!