Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Tis The Season!
Merry Christmas! I hope everyone had a blessed Christmas this year. I know for a lot of people, this season wasn't what they were accustomed to, given our nation's current economy, but I hope that wasn't a deterrent in you being able to experience the joy of the season! Christmas really isn't about how much you have or how much you spend, it's about God's promise of a messiah manifesting in the person of Jesus Christ. For all of us who believe, He is the gift we received... the gift that keeps on giving. So regardless of whether Santa stuffed your stocking with major loot or you had a Charlie Brown tree with no gifts under it, I hope your Christmas was joyful because you were celebrating the best gift of all... the birth of Christ!
This year, I celebrated Christmas with music. I download a bunch of music and created a playlist with old Christmas carols. Sometimes you forget just how meaningful the old Christmas carols are until you really listen to them...all of the verses, and that's what I did this year. I used these songs as a meditation on the meaning of the season. Songs like, “O Come, O Come Emanuel”, which pleads with God to “...ransom captive Israel that mourns in lonely exile here, until the Son of God appear.” This song is about how believers (which the song refers to as Israel) are being held captive by satan's tyrannical reign, and that Christ's coming frees us from satan's reign and gives us victory over death.
Another one of my favorites, “We Three Kings” is about the long journey three kings, or “wise men from the east”, as they are referred to in Matthew, Ch. 2, make in order to find Christ. The song says they traveled, “fields and fountain, moor and mountain, following yonder star”. Their trip was not quick and they went through great difficulty to find Christ, to worship at his feet and present him with gifts. It isn't always easy to find Christ.
“We Three Kings” is also a reminder to me that Christ is for everyone. These kings or wise men from the east were not part of the “chosen people”. They were not part of the “in crowd “. They were not the chief priests or scribes (i.e., religious leaders of the day), they weren't even Jews, yet God chose to revealed himself to them anyway.
Whatever your circumstances this Christmas, I pray you make the journey to find Emanuel... “God with us” and give Him the gift of your heart so that He might give you the gift of victory over the grave... whatever that grave might be. The journey isn't always easy, but it is well worth it.