Sunday, December 9

Merry Christmas

There is a peace about this season I have yet to find in any other. Flip to any radio station and you will hear songs about the love of God. Look in almost any department store or public venue and you will probably find a nativity scene on display. People are picking out gifts for one another. Families are coming together. And I can't help but think, that no matter what religious tradition is being followed this time of year, at the root of it all, we are celebrating because God loved us…and still does.

In this day and age, it is easy to imagine Jesus as a nice figure in history; a story to be told to our children; a source of peace when facing a difficult challenge. But how did His story make it through these thousands of years? Why are there so many who seem to cling to His existence even now?

Don't you ever wonder if you really need God…because you feel like you're fine on your own? And if you really did feel a need for Him…how in the world would you ever tell Him and actually feel like He heard you? And how in the world could you be good enough for Him anyways? Even after growing up in a Christian home, I still have wondered about these things.

There are always secrets that we hold deep in our hearts. Secrets that we wouldn't tell anyone else because if they knew then how would we ever face them again? Or face ourselves for that matter? We would rather hide and face the torment on our own. We would rather show a better face in order to find acceptance, even if that acceptance was only based on half truths. We hide behind secrets and only become mirror images of ourselves. And these same secrets keep us from ever knowing the love of God.

This is the season when we get to hear about what God really thinks about us. Amidst the trips to Santa's North Pole, the last minute holiday shopping, the baking, the decorating, the singing, the bustling about…stop…and listen. There is a reason for this holiday.

A long time ago, God saw you. And He knew that you would live at this very time and place. He knew the color of your hair, the job position you would have. He knew the condition of your heart. He knew what you are worrying about right now. He knew your stubbornness and your pride. He knew your laughter. He knew who would love and who you would miss. He knew what you wish for, what you pray for as you lay in bed at night. And He knew that you would never ever be able to be good enough to get to Him.

But He loved you anyways. He chose you before you ever even heard His name. And He couldn't stand the thought of losing you. So, He did what any loving father would do if his child were lost…He ran after you.

That's the whole reason Jesus showed up on Earth. God had to send His love in a way that we could understand, in a way that we could relate. He sent His son…to tell us who we really were…to tell us that we were not alone…to tell us how much He loved us. He became one of us. And then, because He knew that we would die without Him…He took our place. He really did. He took the blame for all of the reasons that kept us from Him, all the secrets, lies, sins and darkness…and He died with them…He carried our darkness so that we didn't have to.

But He had a secret too...and that was that His love was stronger than all of those things.

What would happen if we faced the truth? The truth that we are empty, alone, afraid, angry, and confused. What would happen if we realized we didn't have to carry this load anymore? Because we don't.

The wonder of Christmas is that God's love will bring the answers we need, will bring the love we long for, will bring the peace we cry out for.

The wonder of Christmas is that we are not alone. God loves us and He wants us.

There's no more reason to hide. We are accepted despite the way we act, despite what we hold deep down inside, despite our hopes and our fears. There's a verse that says, "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." It's time for the truth…always has been. Just think of the possibilities. When we are right with God…everything else will fall into place.

All you have to do is speak into the silence. All you have to do is ask and believe that He will answer. He will and your life will never be the same.

Merry Christmas.

1 comment:

pip said...

you're a bringer of hope april. thank you. you've no idea how much i needed to hear this.