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The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” -[Phil. 2:5-11]

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. There’s this overwhelming feeling that anything can happen. GOD became man. That’s amazing. That’s what Christmas is about. 

“…Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.”

I adore Jesus. Hopefully those of you who know me know that. There’s a lot I love about Him. He’s patient, kind, gentle, generous, giving, and so much more. He’s my favorite conversation topic and my best friend.

One of my most favorite characteristics of Jesus is His meekness. It’s a trait I greatly admire in anyone, but it is displayed perfectly in Christ.

Meekness is often described as “strength under control.” 

And Christmas points me to that aspect of Jesus.

The King of the Universe took on the form of a helpless infant…strength under control.

Christmas isn’t about life being perfect…because life is decidedly not perfect. There is much unrest and chaos in our world.1c8934872b97ecd500051d5723f4e8a7 Many tears will be shed over loved ones. Many are lonely and longing for love. Not everyone feels like this is “the most wonderful time of the year.” Kids are getting shot in the streets. Those who put their lives at risk to protect us are being killed. Cancer is affecting lives everywhere. Marriages are falling apart. Relationships are changing for the worse.

Sometimes I think the nativity scene makes Bethlehem look like the perfect little place. Like Jesus was born into a perfect little world. But that’s not even close to the truth. Jesus was born in the middle of a genocide. Mary and Joseph had to escape Herod in order to protect Jesus from being killed. Both Mary and Joseph very likely had some relationships change for the worse when news got around that the “virgin” was pregnant. People probably gossiped back then just as much as they do now. There wasn’t even room for them in the inn…Jesus was born in a smelly manger, among animals. Not because it makes for a picturesque nativity scene, but because that was the only option. Lowly shepherds were the first to meet Jesus. Not exactly the baby shower you’d expect for the King of the Universe.

But that’s my Jesus: strength under control. He deserved better. He deserved to stay in heaven. And if He was coming to earth, He deserved the greatest palace ever built. He deserved the world and instead would give His life for the world. 

“…Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

He came as a baby. He entered our world, with all its sin and chaos and sadness. He wept over the death of his friend. He comforted those who lost loved ones. He didn’t watch our mess from afar…no, He came into the middle of our mess and got involved. He got involved to the point of death. He got involved to the point of dying on a cross. He got involved to the point of rising from the grave on the third day. He got involved to the point of restoring our relationship with God.

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And that is the message of Christmas, friend. That a mighty strong God chose to come to earth in the form of a helpless baby, live a perfect life, die on your behalf and mine, unite justice and mercy on the cross, rise on the third day, and offer you salvation at NO COST to you…because He paid the price on that cross.

He deserved better. I don’t. I deserve hell. I’ve earned my seat there.

But because of my Jesus, I’m shown grace and mercy.

I’m offered unmerited salvation rather than earned condemnation.

I hope I never miss the point of Christmas. Amid all the gift buying and giving…when our wants are at the forefront of our thoughts and there’s always something more or bigger or better…let’s not forget the fact that none of this material stuff really matters. Our greatest need was met long ago…and it started with a baby in a manger. The presents are fun to open, but if we had everything we could possibly ever want but didn’t have Jesus…there’s no point. JESUS is the reason for this season and every season. JESUS is the best and most undeserved gift we will ever receive. I’m speaking from personal experience: nothing–no gift, no amazing vacation, no relationship–NOTHING trumps Jesus. 

So regardless of what you’re going through this season–whether you’re rich or poor, healthy or sick, loved or lonely–know this:

In Christ, you are rich.

In Christ, you are made whole.

In Christ, you are loved

 “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Merry Christmas

God’s grace in my life:

I’ve been blessed in many ways this season. But the greatest blessing is Christ. He shows me grace on a daily basis. My life with Him trumps all other gifts.

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