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Merry Christmas!

January 26, 2016

Grace to you! Christmas is finally here! For kids, it has taken forever to get to Christmas. For us adults, wasn’t it just a few weeks ago we put the ornaments away from last year?! Whether long or short in our minds, Christmas is a time of celebration. The word ‘Christmas’ is actually made up of two words “Christ” and “mass”. Obviously the first word is in reference to the Lord Jesus. The second word, “mass”, simply means celebration. Christmas is the time we should celebrate the Lord Jesus!

For some, Christmas can be a time of being with family and friends. A time to recall fond memories of our own childhood and seeing those family members (whether for good or bad!) we haven’t seen since last year. However, for some, Christmas is a very hard time. It’s a reminder of what they don’t have. It can remind them of bad family memories. It’s easy for those of us who had relatively good backgrounds to ignore those who have bad memories about Christmas. How do we think of Christmas when some have had good Christmases and some bad have had bad ones?

There is a common blessing and a common warning for both sides. First the bad side of things. Those who have bad memories of Christmas can get so focused on their hurts that they forget the very reason of Christmas. Christ came to bring hope. Not hope in the generic sense. But eternal and everlasting hope for anyone who places their trust in Him. Jesus doesn’t promise everything will be better this side of heaven, but He does promise the greatest blessing of all. He promises to give Himself. So those with bad past memories need to be careful about missing the ultimate good that God offers them now due to focusing too much on former things.

The same warning goes for those with who had all good memories. The good things in life can distract us from thinking about the Ultimate Good: the reason the baby came in the manger. Even those with good things in life need the saving work of the baby in Bethlehem Who was born to die for sinners.

In light of the warnings to both groups, there is also a common blessing held out for each. Whether rich or poor, good memories or bad memories with Christmas, etc Jesus came for all types of sinners. C.S. Lewis said it well: “He who has Jesus and nothing else is the same as the one who has Jesus and everything else.” How can he say this? How can scripture keep us focused at this Christmas season?

It goes back to God’s plan. His Son was, in the words of ‘Hark, the Herald Angels Sing’, “born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth.” Remember that the baby in the manger scene is not just about an ethereal sense of happy times. It’s about God’s strong love to reconcile mankind to Himself. Christmas reminds us that Jesus was willing to take the curses of our sins so that we could have God Himself. Now that’s a Christmas worth celebrating!

Looking for a church home? Come visit South Whitwell Baptist, 133 South Oak Street, Whitwell. Sunday Service: 10:45 AM. Visit our web page: www.southwhitwellbaptist.webs.com

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