Christmas is coming! For children, that declaration brings great anticipation. But for many adults, who feel as though Christmas was just a few weeks ago, it can bring a twinge of dread. Our attitudes towards Christmas depend largely on how we see this –as a winter holiday, gifts, parties, much cooking, and traveling–or more as a special holy day, in which we see God’s love and grace poured out towards us.
Christmas means many things–for children, it invites the wish for special gifts. for adults, Christmas repeats the desire for peace and true goodwill among men, and for Christians, it means a celebration of the great gift God has given us in His Son, Jesus Christ.
In Luke 2:1-7, we see what Christmas should mean to the faithful believer in Christ. For four hundred years, God had been silent and many wondered when He would speak again through a prophet. Perhaps some thought that God no longer cared for His chosen people, the Jews, or for the world in general.
The Gospel account tells us that Christmas means God is at work. He is never not doing something. Even when the Scripture in Genesis says that “God rested from His labors” in creation, He still was upholding all things by His power.
God is at work in that He became one of us! He joined us as a human being. God became a Man. His feet ached, He grew weary, He sweated at His labor, He wept, He laughed. He got cold in the winter; He got hot in the summer; He grew hungry and thirsty. He says to each of us, “I’ve been through what you’ve been through.” People cannot truly say, “I know how you feel,” but Jesus can!
He is at work and sometimes intervenes in a miraculous way. He rescued the Israelites from Egypt. In Elijah’s time, He sent fire from Heaven and raised the dead. Jesus Himself raised the dead, healed the sick, and stilled the storm.
God is at work in us and through us. Ephesians 2:10 teaches us that God has appointed works for us to do after we trust Christ as our Saviour. He is transforming us, by the power of the written Word of God and the Holy Spirit, to be more in His image.
God is at work guiding us through this life on earth. God directed Noah to build an ark to save the animals and mankind. God told Abram to find a new land and begin a new people. God brought Israel out of slavery in Egypt. God gave Solomon specific instructions for a temple in Jerusalem. God led the Wise Men to follow a star. God sent angels to shepherds to herald the Good News of a Saviour in a manger.
Christmas means that our hopes and joys come true. Let’s give praise to God for His incredible plan of salvation. Let’s share our hopes with others so that they might know the hope that is within us.
Craig Alan Myers – Executive Board Member