Preparing Your Heart For Christmas
Right around the Christmas season things begin to happen in a flurry. Life seems to get faster and faster as we race toward the things we love most about December. The time we have with our family, the songs we get to sing once a year, the holiday smells fill the air with aromas of vanilla, pine and sweet cinnamon. Christmas time is an incredibly cheerful idea.
For others the season evokes a sense of instability. Some if not most have suffered horrible memories and anguish throughout their lives and when they see the happy, joy filled memories depicted on television and their friends facebook pages they are forced to reflect on their painful past.
No matter which family tradition you come from or what your past experience is, all have need for the thing Christmas hopes to bring. A faith in our fellow human being to be better towards each other, caring for those in need and aspiring toward a better future. Love between people shared regardless of whatever is in their past. A hope that causes us to wonder about the absolute way God can intervene in the world, a wonder that forces to dream of a world of possibility. That is the hope we expect Christmas to bring.
God knew we would need this hope. He presented it to us in a baby named Jesus whom was born by a virgin in a stable because there was no room at the Inn. (Lk. 2:6-7).
About two miles away from the stable some shepherds were tending their flock. The night the baby an angel went to the shepherds in the field and in the dark night which can easily represents our own darkest nights the a bright light surrounded them and darkness was turned to light. In the sky the sound of heralding angel filled the void with the words “unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” (Lk. 2:11).
Then the angles of Heaven break forth cutting the dark and silent night with glimpse of what it looks like to sing praises from hearts filled with the joy, the hope, the love and the faith that Jesus brought to earth that night. They sang “Glory to God in the Highest” and they mentioned something else significant for the shepherds to hear and something significant for us to hear today. They sang their song and told this to the angles “peace on earth and goodwill towards all people.”
This is the hope that Christmas brings. That in the midst of the craziness of life and the consumerism that gets shoved in our faces and the keeping up with the jones’ mentality that we deal with… Peace on earth can be found… Goodwill toward all people can be achieved. This is not some fairy tale someone dreamed up but the truth that God came down and offered to us something significant. He offered us wonder in the form a baby. A peace offering in a turbulent time. A sign that God is not done with us. A truth that all heaven and earth rejoiced because Jesus touched down in Bethlehem and brought with Him the faith, love and hope we need. Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth and goodwill to every man, woman, boy, girl.
The peace on earth and goodwill toward all mankind was given to us through Jesus Christ. He invites us to take an honest look at our lives in the mirror and when we see the parts where we all know we fail, where we see our own pride and selfishness to turn from it and turn toward the hope that came that night to the shepherds in the field.
Jesus came to us as a baby and took on the sin of the world when he willingly went to the cross. He paid a heavy price for the sin of this dark world, yours and mine alike. He proved he had the power and authority to forgive and over life and death when he raised from the dead on the third day. When we put our trust in Jesus we are saying to ourselves and to him that we are willing to believe that he is God, that he can forgive us for not being perfect.
It all begins with a willingness to turn from our own selfishness and pride. It begins in our hearts and for some of you tonight it is beginning right now. You are beginning to believe that there is something more to the Christmas story than just a baby. You like the shepherds are beginning to believe that Jesus is the Lord God come down to truly save us.
I invite you to join me and trust me when I say you can put your trust in Jesus tonight. He came to bring you a peace that will blow your mind. You won’t be able to explain it. He came to show you a love that will break your heart because it in you begin to experience how far he is willing to go to forgive you. He came to invite you to trust, to have faith and to find hope in him that will change your life forever.
This happens in a relationship with Jesus and it can start right now if your willing to take a risk right now. I want to invite you to in your own words talk to God, maybe for the first time. In this silent moment I invite you to tell the Lord that you are willing to trust Jesus, the baby, the savior, the king, the Lord. Tell the Lord you are willing to turn from your self and turn toward him and ask him to help you trust him.