Christmas is a time when you have to spend time with people you don’t like and buy them gifts with money you don’t have.
Christmas is generally thought of as a season of joy, which is slightly true. Most people try to look at it like a Hallmark card: peace, love, happiness to all mankind in this joyful season. But how many Christmases are really like that in America today? Obviously, Christmas is a wonderful time of the year. We get together with our families, we open presents, and for some of us, we have snow. And some of us go to Christmas pageants to hear that dear old story of the baby in a manger, because it’s a cute little Christmas tradition. Some of us go to church for the only time of the year.
So the question is, what is the point of Christmas? Don’t get me started on the Santa Claus nonsense. What is it? Is it to have warm, happy feelings as we spend time with our families? Is it to think about that cute little baby in the manger?
Well, guess what, it is about that baby. It’s about the incredible truth that GOD came down to earth and became human. But it doesn’t end there. Most of us like to keep the baby Jesus in the manger, in the stable. But the story doesn’t end there, because the baby grew up. That child lived the life of an average human, except He was perfect. Eventually, He died a death no human could withstand, for us. THAT is the hope, the joy in Christmas. Jesus came down to this wicked earth, lived the life that we could never live, and died the death that should have been ours. As a result, He paved the way for us to come to God, to be reconciled, to be forgiven. And to be given eternal life.
You see, Jesus saw the potential future He could have with His creatures. For the JOY set before Him, He endured the cross for us. You want to know what true joy is? It’s knowing that death is not the end. We are all going to face death. But the thing is, is doesn’t have to be the end. I have an incredible hope. Because Jesus came down to earth and died for me, I am going to Heaven when I die. That’s hope, man. That’s JOY.
Christmas is a tough, tough time for a lot of people. There are a lot of teenagers who are going to get into big trouble during their break. Things are going to get tense between families. Kids are going to be disappointed with their gifts, and with the economic situation, a lot of parents are worried about getting their kids good enough gifts. A lot of people are extremely lonely, or hurting. But for those of us who have the incredible hope for the future, we need to reach out to those who are hurting this season. We need to watch out for those who are struggling.
You can find joy in lots of other things besides God. Family, gifts, snow. But those things just don’t last. You want joy that will last? Put your trust, you hope in God this season, and for the rest of your life. HE has the only joy that will last.
What is true faith? True faith is not only a knowledge and conviction that everything God reveals in His word is true; it is also a deep-rooted assurance, created in me by the Holy Spirit through the Gospel, that, out of sheer grace earned for us by Christ, not only others, but I too, have had my sins forgiven, have been made forever right with God, and have been granted salvation.