Wednesday, December 5, 2012
As I've said many times, "Christmas is my favorite time of year!"
The picture is of a table I decorated for a women's event a few weeks ago.
I was telling my husband this morning that I should live where it's Christmas all year long. I love it all; the sights, the sounds, the decorating...!
Then I thought about what I said and I realized I already live where it's Christmas all year long. Wherever I am, it's Christmas! Christ makes everyday Christmas; Christ lives inside of me. Christ is who I celebrate every day of my life! So.... everyday and every place can be Christmas!
I think this revelation gives me permission to listen to Christmas music all year long too! I'm just sayin'.
While listening to Christmas music driving around town the other day,one of my favorite songs came on the radio, "Do You Hear What I Hear?" As a musician, I've played and I've sung this song with choirs and ensembles many times, and each time I hear it I get goosebumps. Today, though, the ending of the song resonated in my mind like never before. The music builds with each verse throughout the piece, swelling with grandeur as it comes to the end. The composer stretches out the ending loud and long with these words...
"He will bring--- us---goodness---and--- light."
I know you just sang the last line with me. Aren't those words powerful?
On that holy night in Bethlehem, Mary delivered God's miracle into the world He created. As Jesus gasped for His first earthly breath, He delivered two special gifts to this world of sin;
Goodness and Light!
What is goodness? The Bible gives us the definition of "good" by telling us that God is good. In Matthew 19:17, Jesus is asked by the rich, young man, "What good thing must I do to get eternal life?" Jesus responds to him by giving him the true definition of "good". He says, "Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only One who is good." Jesus doesn't tell him what good thing he should do, but tells him Who is good. God is the only definition of "good". Knowing Him results in our doing good. We could never do enough good to gain eternal life and pay the debt for our sins. Therefore, God planned all along to send His Son to this earth to show us good, and His goodness was the perfect sacrifice to pay our sin debt. Just think, those who encountered Jesus face to face were looking into the eyes of all that is good. Because we could never be good enough, Jesus brought us goodness. What a gift! To do good is to know God.
Jesus' other gift was the gift of light. Jesus gave testimony of Himself by saying,
"I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life." (John 8:12 NIV)
The light of Christ provides for us a way to live that keeps us from darkness. Once we've invited the Light into our lives, we don't have to live in our sin anymore. We have the Light to help us see the way out, to overcome our fleshly desires and to sin less and less as we mature in Christ. We also have the Light who shines deep into our hearts and reveals those sins we need to confess and repent of. The Light of the world also provides us with direction as to how to follow Him and obey His commands. We never have to be afraid of the dark. God always leaves the Light on. We just have to live in the Light!
Mary and Joseph were the first to gaze into the devinely human face of God; into the face of goodness and light. Then God's majestic birth announcement was delivered by a heavenly host of angels to the shepherds. Because they received their personal invitation to "Come and see", the sheherds were able to find and gaze into the face of goodness and light. Later, the kings who followed the star and traveled with gifts from afar, were brought to their knees as they gazed into the face of the King which revealed goodness and light.
Just as those who gazed into the face of Jesus on earth, we have been given the same announcement, the same invitation, to "Come and see." By accepting the invitation, we enter a relationship with Jesus Christ; the same goodness and light delivered over 2000 years ago. Doesn't this cause you to fall on your knees in worship as well?
These are the gifts of God that never grow old. They never wear out, run out, or fade away. Goodness and light are gifts that multipy when you give them away. These are gifts that are eternal. Our relationship with Christ is eternal. God has given us Himself through His Son, Jesus. Christmas time reminds us of this Forever Gift.
goodness and light (the gift of Himself) that He has placed in our hearts. Ask Him to help you use these special gifts to point others to the only Gift that matters this season, Jesus Christ. Gaze into His glorious face today!