The Christmas season brings us closer together which means that sin, that universal human condition is present in multiple ways even among the gift exchanging, feasting, games and fun. When your sin or another's threatens to discourage celebrating the holidays with joy and contentment, allow this discord to act as a reminder that this sin is why Jesus came and may you, like me, see how much we need Him right then and every moment after that one.
Christ took our nature on him, not that he
'Bove all things loved it, for the purity:
No, but he dressed him with our human trim,
Because our flesh stood most in need of him.
~Robert Harrick (1591-1647) from Christmas Spirit by George Grant and Gregory Wilbur
I quoted the following words in part two Christmas seasons ago, but today I quote it in full.
The holiday season is upon us.
And along with our many celebrations comes a higher concentration of human beings in limited spaces.
Homes that usually house one family, will receive extra visitors.
Grandparents will join their children and grandchildren for meals and games.
Uncles and aunts and cousins will arrive from far-away places.
Bedrooms will swell with overnight guests.
Showers will require more hot water than is available.
Dishes will pile up.
Toilets will plug.
Diapers will stink.
Toddlers will make watching a good movie almost impossible.
Glasses will break.
Toys will become tug-of-war victims.
Along with all the laughter, memories, jokes, conversations, and good food, offenses will come.
Patience will run short.
Fatigue will settle in.
Someone will most likely get sick.
Loud crying will echo throughout the house.
There will be spankings and rumors of spankings.
And then the end will come.
We tend to anticipate the joys of Thanksgiving and Christmas, without remembering the tensions that accompany sinners wherever we go.
Our celebrations always bring with them difficulties, because we by nature are difficult to get along with.
So, how shall we then live, given our own weaknesses and failures?
By faith we must trust that our mixed-bag celebrations are the context God is using to grow strong sons and grandsons.
By faith we must trust that these sorts of tensions are fashioning our daughters and granddaughters into beautiful palatial pillars.
By faith we must believe God is re-making us into his own image through our flawed efforts to please him.
And that is exactly what we are endeavoring to do here this morning.
We are trusting he will change us as we seek to please him.
How blessed are the people whose God is the Lord.
Let us therefore worship the Triune God.
~ Curt Bakker, Christ Covenant Church, Call to Worship, taken from Lift Up Your Hearts
Wishing you a wonderful Christmas celebration, my dear friends and family! I am so thankful to rejoice with you in the birth of God's Son.
O ye heights of heaven adore him!
Angel hosts, his praises sing!
All dominions bow before him,
And extol your God and King!
Let no tongue on earth be silent,
Every voice in concert ring Evermore and evermore. quoted by George Grant