"The Journey of Advent" by Pastor Wally Coots
It's that time of year again. We’re already in the second week of Advent and with it, all the joys of Christmas. But what is the real meaning of Christmas? Is it the gifts under the tree, the lights in the windows, the cards in the mail, turkey dinners with family and friends, snow in the yard, stockings hanging in the living room, and shouts of "Merry Christmas" to those who pass us in the streets? Is this really Christmas?
For many people, Christmas is a time of sorrow. They don't have the extra money to buy presents for their children, family, and friends. Many are saddened at Christmastime when they think of an empty place at the table or their loved ones who will not be able to come home for various reasons. Turkey dinners may be only a wish and not a reality for some.
Yet, Christmas can be a season of great joy. It is a time of God showing His great love for us. It can be a time of healing and renewal. You see, Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of the Christ-child. God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world to be born. His birth brought great joy to the world. Shepherds, wise men, and angels all shared in the excitement of knowing about this great event. They knew this was no ordinary baby. The prophets had told of His coming hundreds of years before. The star stopped over Bethlehem just to mark the way for those who were looking for this special child. Read Luke 2. Take another glance at last Sunday’s passage: Isaiah 9:2-7. And don’t forget the first chapter of Matthew beginning with verse 18. This is great news for all people!
Why did He come? Why did God send His son to this sometimes cruel and hard world? He sent Jesus to us so that one day, He would grow up to become a very important part of history. His story (history) is one of truth, love, and hope. It brought salvation to all of us. Without Jesus, we would all die in our sins. Into the darkness, He brought light.
We can truly be happy at Christmas! No matter what may be happening. Regardless of our circumstances, we can know that we are His children. That means we are sons and daughters of God. Heaven will be our home one day!
Look at Christmas in a new way this year. Think about what it means to be His child. Share the true meaning of Christmas with someone who does not know Him. You will then have a "Merry Christmas." The joy and peace you will receive will last all year as you look to God in a new and fresh way.
Jesus Is The Reason For The Season! Rejoice!