I don’t know about you, but the Christmas season always makes me feel like a kid again. As I get older and watch my own kids grow up, I look forward to Christmas every year…it’s like the fountain of youth. I love Christmas!
As a pastor I spend a lot of time talking with people and listening to their stories and talking about what is happening in their life. God wants to give you three special gifts this Christmas. I love Christmas and I don’t want you to miss it.
My kids can tell you how much I hate it when I miss something. I don’t like missing the previews at movies, I don’t like missing out on a good meal, I don’t like missing something I’ve never seen, I don’t like missing opportunities and I hate missing a gift!
I want you to know Christmas. I want you to know Jesus. So this is the first part in a three part series on Missing Christmas. If you don’t want to miss Christmas, you need to receive three gifts. These gifts of Christmas are found in the person of Jesus. Yes, the baby born 2,000 years ago.
The first gift is the gift of love.
Love might be the last word you think of when you think of Christmas. Our mantels and halls are usually decked with words like “peace” or “joy.” You may have grown up or are currently living in a situation where the Christmas season brings up lots of pain and discomfort. Maybe the word love has been distorted as you’ve been taken advantage of or abused or misused?
What does love have to do with Christmas anyway? It’s easier to talk about peace or hope or yuletide goodness while chestnuts roast on the open fire. Right?
Well, here is the deal. Love is at the very center of Christmas. And not just any love, but the love of God. In John 3:16 it says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son…”
This is why Jesus was born in the first place…love. God loved the world sooooo much. When I explain this to my kids, I say to them, “God loves you like infinity!”
God created the world. God created you and me. God even created us ‘in his image’ and while that is a profound mystery, the reality is that He loves His creation. That means he deeply loves you and me and your family (yes, even your uncle or sister or step-dad or…).
God loves you.
God loves you so he sent Jesus in human form.
God loves you so you might have life. Both life to the fullest today (John 10:10) and life forever in all eternity (John 17:3).
There are lots of reasons we can miss Christmas. We love the things of this world, more than the things of God. We can love ourselves more than God. We can even love the feeling of being loved by others and somehow miss God in that. But, the love of God is like no other and it finds it’s full expression when we come to God through a relationship with Jesus which begins quite simply.
Knowing God’s love personally starts as you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead. With that, you will be saved and begin a deep spiritual journey of knowing the love of God. My prayer is that…
“…Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in…that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love.” Ephesians 3:17-18 MSG
Don’t miss the greatest love in the world, the love of God found in Jesus. In the depths of that great love, we find hope. But that gift is for my next post…