Thursday, December 24, 2015

My Christmas Letter: J

He is risen!! No, silly, I haven't confused my holidays. The babe is in the manger, the ham is in the oven, and there are cookies and presents for all, because we're celebrating! What are we celebrating? Not the birth, because if He was only born, what would that be? It would simply be an arrival with no destination. What we're truly celebrating is the first "baby step" toward the cross. We don't like to think about that, it ruins that festive spirit. Death? On Christmas? pshhh, back off buddy, or I will hit you with my candy cane. Matthew 1:21 spells it out for us: "She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." His birth is nothing without His death, because it's His death that opened the door to forgiveness for all of my sins. And yours. For all of those times when you yourself should have forfeited your life for all eternity because of the darkness in your soul, He died. OK, stop sobbing, it doesn't end there. A few chapters later in Matthew 28:6 says "He is not here; he has risen, just as he said." May Christmas be a reminder of the cross for all of us. Red for the color of His blood, and green for the new life He gave us. The tree on which His body hung, strung with shining lights reminding us of the "Light of the World" (John 8:12). He is risen!