GET TOGETHER- The Perfect One Came To Earth
Lu 2:7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (NKJV)
Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. It has not always been that way. To be honest Christmas became one of my favorite times of the year after I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior in 1990.
Before I met J.J. Christmas was a very lonely time. I would often try to fill those times of loneliness with sinful activities to try to fill that empty void. Christmas got much better after our children were born. The Holy Spirit was using them to help us to get to the place of the real reason that we celebrate Christmas. But I must admit it was still an anxious time for me. I was overly concerned about work during that time. I was uptight about what to buy for those that I wanted to give a gift to, and I was still playing with some things that were not good for me, or anyone else.
Some of those things that I mentioned are good. It is good to work. It is good to give gifts, because as followers of Christ we are to be a giving people. The Apostle Paul wrote about the blessing of working and giving in Ac 20:35 “I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (NKJV)
But in 1990 I began to grasp the true meaning of Christmas and to enjoy celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As I shared with a group last week. This is not a perfect time of the year. This Saturday will mark twenty-three years since my Daddy’s death on a sunny December day. It was on a Saturday that year. Just like it falls this year. During the Christmas season I have preached the funerals of children, and some of the most faithful brothers and sisters in Christ that we have ever had the privilege of serving the Lord with during this time of the year.
So, although this time of the year is not perfect. We can celebrate because the perfect One left a perfect place and came to redeem lost humanity. John describes it like this in Joh 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (NKJV) The Apostle Paul says it like this in Php 2:7,8 “but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”
One of the greatest blessings that I have had since I was born again in 1990 is Christmas Eve Communion. As a Pastor it was always a great blessing to experience the grace of God when you looked into the faces of those that you were serving on Christmas Eve. Some had been through some great times during the previous year. Others had been through some difficult time such as a spouse, a child, or a parent that had gone on to Heaven. It was a blessing to know that these walked in that type of faith. And that faith was a gift from God.
One of my favorite memories was either in our first, or second year at Bethlehem United Methodist Church. It was either in 1996, or 1997. We came into the Pastoral Ministry in 1996. I am not sure if it was the year of Daddy’s death. Which was during the Christmas season of our first year in the Pastoral Ministry. Or if it was the next year that we were there. Both of those years there had been some tough situations that either us, or someone else in the congregation was going through. Our daughter Jessye was either eleven, or twelve. The power was off at the church and there had been some snow. We would be leaving after the service to be with the Headrick side of the family on Christmas Eve night and to be with the Johnson side of our family on Christmas day.
Jessye asked me if she could help me serve Communion. The enemy had been really trying to discourage me and tell me that no one was going to come. What a blessing it was that night. We only had candlelight in the church. We didn’t have any heat. It was so cold that I could see Jessye’s breath one time. But oh, what a blessing! It made me think of how it must have been in that stable on that first Christmas night. They didn’t have power. They didn’t have heat unless it was a fire. I think that it was the first time that I ever saw Jessye wearing hose. She was dressed up in her Sunday dress and when I heard her pray over the people after they received the Lord’s Supper it was such a blessing.
The night that our Lord came to earth was a hard night for Him and His family. He was born in a manger. I heard a preacher on the radio yesterday say what a perfect place for a Lamb to be born. The Lamb that came to take away the sins of the world was born in a manger.
As we get closer and closer to Christmas day I pray for all of us that whether we are living in some of the most wonderful times of our lives, or some of the most challenging that we will see that the Baby that was born in a manger today sits at the Right Hand of the Father and that He lives in our hearts through the Blessed Holy Spirit. And because of that we can give Him praise in the good times, and praise Him in the challenging times!
Let Us Pray
Lord we thank You that you came to the earth in the form of a man. We thank You that we can celebrate Your birth because You lived for us. You died for us! You rose from the dead for us! You have given us the Holy Spirit! We praise You Lamb of God! Please be with all who read this. May all who have been born again be encouraged. May any that have not come to know Your goodness, Your love, and your favor be drawn to You during this very special season.
In Jesus Name
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL OF YOU!!