The Christmas season brings the anticipation, excitement, joy and thrill of the decorations, gifts, singing, holiday gatherings, good food and happy children. The birth of Jesus is celebrated as a time of giving and receiving good cheer. It is at this time of year that you can hear carols playing in the elevators, department stores, schools, offices. on radio and television and in the church as expected. Songs about the Savior’s birth, angels singing, and glory to the new born King reveal a message of the Savior born to die for the sins of the world.
I have many memories of Christmases past shared with our children. Christmas Day after church service, we would go home to open the gifts. Seems to be a normal and simple task, but wait for these details. The children just wanted to tear into all of the presents quickly. And there were so many presents because we wrapped everything. My Man of God loved lots of presents under the tree. Even though they were ready, my Man of God had a prescribed method to follow. First, we all had to sit around the tree while he read the story of Jesus’ birth to squirming and impatient children. Next, he would pass out the presents, one at a time. Each one had to be opened by the recipient and the contents viewed by all of us. Finally each of the opened gifts would be placed in the assigned pile for gifts and the trash in its designated place. So you know that this took quite some time with gifts for five people. The big question would be how many presents would my Man of God have bought and wrapped for himself. We still laugh about that.
We always tried to teach lessons about everything we did. The lessons were: opening gifts was secondary to knowing about Jesus, the reason for the season, and that we all shared in the gift giving and receiving that brought joy to each of us. Now, the children may not have understood then that lessons were being taught and learned but now I am sure that they have catalogued these life events in their hearts for generations to experience.
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony... Revelation 12:11
You may think that you are living your life for you alone. Contrarily, we are made in the image and likeness of God and for His pleasure. We need relationship and fellowship. Our lives are lived as examples for others to see and pattern. You are the only Bible that some people witness. I love to share my family’s story with you. We have lived in the spotlight for the Lord and many of you continue to express how thankful you are for our obedience to God.
God shared the ultimate gift with us in the birth of Jesus. It was a planned gift from the foundation of the world. With my natural eye, I see all of the toils and dangers of pregnancy and birth that any mother could face…preeclampsia, preterm labor, and miscarriage. But add Mary traveling from Nazareth to Bethlehem which was more than fifty miles, nearing her due date. And when she got there, no room in the inn. Ooh wee.
But with my spiritual eye, I see God using His prescribed order to fulfill the redemption plan. Once man sinned in the Garden, redemption progressed. God spoke the world into existence. Because we are made in His image, we are speaking spirits. God used people to speak Jesus. Jesus was revealed in the Garden of Eden as the seed of the woman. Abraham rejoiced about Jesus and spoke. The prophets were courageous enough to speak about the Savior. Isaiah was bold enough and prophesied of a virgin birth. Shepherds and wise men from the east trusted enough to seek the King of the Jews. Though they spoke and sought Him, the forces of darkness tried to defeat Him. Throughout Bible history, kings and rulers tried to kill baby boys in hopes of killing the King of Kings. But it was not so. God’s plan trumped Herod's plan and His plan unfolded as the prophets foretold. Jesus came down through forty two generations, born in Bethlehem to a virgin to fulfill prophesy in spite of the forces against it. I am sure that the atmosphere was electrified, the shepherds were sanctified, the demons were petrified and I am so satisfied that the Savior was born. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke 2:13-14 Praise the Lord for His perfect plan.
As you share Jesus in this season, prayers of peace, love and joy to you and your family.
Harriet Noel Jones