Over the weekend I debated about whether to continue the series on Biblical Fasting, or take a break to honor Christmas.
I had tried to tell God that December was not the best time to talk about fasting, because so many women have shopping and parties on their minds. He didn’t seem to agree with me, so I forged ahead where I felt He was leading.
But for today, we put the fasting series on pause in remembrance of that first Christmas. As Jesus said in Matthew 9, there is an appropriate time to fast and mourn, but there are also times when our attention needs to be turned elsewhere.
Do we really understand what Christmas is all about?
- Yes, part of Christmas is Advent and the Nativity, celebrating all that Jesus brought into the world; love, peace, joy.
- It’s about giving to others, sharing our love. We bake goodies, decorate trees, wrap gifts, stuff stockings.
- It’s about friends and family, gathering around tables to eat or play games. Just being together, enjoying each other.
- And its about serving others, helping needy families or feeding the homeless.
But before all that, what was Christmas?
O Holy Night It’s always been my favorite Christmas song. And yet in the past few years, it has become more to me than just a carol sung during the holidays.
As I sat in church watching the children’s program the other night, sweet voices raised with the words of this song. And I cried.
Because Christmas, ladies – the day Jesus was born –
that was the day everything changed.
Every human being is born into sin, destined to live enslaved to our earthly desires and selfish ways. But God promised to provide a way to overcome all that. To save us from hell and an eternity of agony. To save us from ourselves and pull us from the pit of habitual sin.
That’s where Jesus comes in. His birth changed everything.
“Long lay the world, in sin and error pining.” For thousands of years, people had longed to be free of the captivity of all types of oppression. They clung to the promise that God would send a Savior. Don’t we all long to be free of the chains that bind us?
“The thrill of hope, a weary world rejoices.” Because finally, finally, the Messiah had come to save them from bondage and set them free. Hallelujah! Glory to God in the highest – we may be weary of all the junk in our lives, but we have hope! We may have problems, but they don’t have to enslave us, because of Jesus.
His birth changed everything. They would no longer have to offer animal sacrifice to atone for their sin. They would no longer be separated from God by a veil in the temple. They would soon have the privilege of the Holy Spirit to guide them.
Do we fall on our knees in remembrance and show our gratitude? Do we truly feel the weight of what happened that day? When we sing Christmas carols, do we really get the meaning in the words?
Jesus is our Rescuer and Redeemer. This little baby, born in a stable, tucked away in a manger, is our true Knight in Shining Armor. We don’t have to live in bondage any more! Christmas is truly a holy night.
Because without this night, we would be so lost. Selah.
Thanks be to God; we are saved. From the junk in this world, and from ourselves.
~~~H a l l e l u i a h ~~~