“For all the promises of God find their Yes in Him. That is why it is through Him that we utter our Amen to God for His glory.” 2 Cor. 1:20
Promise 4: We are God’s people
I love the frenzy of Christmas morning. The paper wrapping layers the floor. Bows are spread like a Christmas garland. Presents are given and received. The anticipation of that moment builds to a crescendo then a peaceful feeling comes as the day goes by. We breathe in His peace and breathe out His love.
Our family unwraps the presents on Christmas morning, sometimes one present is opened on Christmas eve. We have hot chocolate and a simple breakfast, usually pancakes or waffles. More often than not we spend almost the whole day in our jammies unless family is coming. I love the simplicity of our family Christmas.
For some however Christmas is a painful reminder of a loved one that is deployed or a loved one who is no longer with us. Tensions at home and/ or with family members erode the jolly feeling of the season.
But as the Grinch discovered “maybe Christmas does not come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more.” The gifts under the tree will never replace the gift wrapped in the manger. Did you unwrap it this Christmas? Will you make it your top New Year goal to unwrap Jesus in 2017?
“I will put my law within them, and I will be their God and they shall be my people.” Jeremiah 31:33
This promise from God was given to the prophet Jeremiah about 600 years before the birth of Christ. This promise was fulfilled in that lowly manger in the middle of a silent night in Bethlehem. This promise is one of the reason we utter amen on Christmas morning. No matter whether Christmas morning brought feelings of joy or feelings of dread, the promises of God is what we anchor our hope on.
We are His people. We are a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9), we are members of His family (Romans 9:8; 1 John 3:1-2); we are heirs with Him for eternity (Romans 8:14-17). This gift wrapped in the manger is yours to grab and it comes with a bonus: the Holy Spirit. The moment you unwrap the gift, you are filled with the spirit (Ephesians 1:11-14). No matter how joyful or dreadful your Christmas was, the gift of the spirit is yours to have and behold. The Holy Spirit will answer your questions better than SIRI and show you the way more accurately than Google Map. It is also the light you need to share with the world.
I remember a Christmas long ago. I was maybe 9 or 10. My grandmother had taken me to the midnight mass. She did every year. This particular year however I was asked by the priest to light everybody’s candle in the church. I very clearly remember the joy I felt as I walked around in the church lightning everybody’s candles. I also remember the awe of the moment as the glow of the candles filled the space.
Sharing our light does not have to be complicated. We share it one person at a time. One deed at a time. One small step. One small action. Just like a candlelight does not diminish when it lights another candle, your light does not either. The light was born on Christmas day (John 1:9). Christmas day is just the dawn to a journey that takes us to the cross. A journey to fully embrace grace and fill ourselves with His love so that we can share it with others. Christmas is not over on December 26. The truth is that the work of Christmas really begins on December 26.
When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among people,
To make music in the heart.
Howard Thurman “The Work of Christmas” in The Mood of Christmas & Other Celebrations (1985)