As the Christmas Season has once again come around, my heart is stirred in remembrance and recognition of so many things…pure things, true things, enduring things. The cross is an essential symbol in the life of every believer and we have several in our home. When Noah was just a tiny little thing he began to ask, “why do we have a cross?” I would answer, “to remind us of Jesus.” After telling him that a few times, he began to say, “remember Jesus,” when he would see a cross. It touched my heart so each time I heard that tender, sweet little boy voice say those words and I would hope and pray he would some day know the truth and the gifts we have because of the cross of Christ.
I’ve been thinking so much about Jesus, about the wonder of it all, and how our minds can ponder over it and our hearts receive it and yet we still cannot fully comprehend what all was accomplished on that old rugged cross. I don’t think any of us can bear to grasp the agony Christ suffered in order to give us eternal victory, joy unspeakable and life everlasting…how my heart swells with fullness, though, each time I approach His greatness in my smallness and consider His tender love extending to me, to you, to us all.
I was awake before sunrise this morning and couldn’t settle back to sleep in bed so I went into the living room and curled up under a quilt on the couch in the golden, shimmering glow of the candles and tree. I felt so very thankful as I lay in our peaceful home praying. The words from John 14:27 settled into my mind…”Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you…” I later turned to my Bible and read the words that follow, “…not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
Have you ever been afraid? I’ve been afraid many, many times; afraid so deeply I could scarcely endure it, and yet my Lord says to me in His Word, “let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” How steadily the hands of time have turned and with them change has occurred both in the world and in me. I think of the change that is possible only because Jesus came…
Way back in Isaiah 55:6-7, we are told to “Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” This invitation was extended to us all through the gift of God’s Son. In a world riddled with sin and sorrow; fear, sickness, and death, hope for all was born…”a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).
This time of year I think of the baby Jesus, the express image of God revealed in His Son, coming to earth draped in human flesh; small, meek and mild. Such a peaceful scene fills my mind as I think of Him lying in the manger wrapped in His swaddling clothes, held close in Mary’s young and loving arms. Then I think of what He took on for us later as He grew into a man, the “man of sorrows, acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3). By God’s perfect will, great and redeeming love, Jesus came to die so that we might live.
I think of my own failures and those of the whole of humanity and I ponder in awe the words penned in scripture that describes God’s compassionate response…”In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them: in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bare them, and carried them all the days of old.” (Isaiah 63:9)
I’ve prayed fervently for those who are lost in our midst, who have failed to surrender their all to the Lord during these days leading up to the time the entire world will pause in remembrance…may we remember in humility. May we remember with full surrender to His will, His will to save that which is lost. May we be filled with the fullness of joy as we remember…
The hands of time continue to turn because of a merciful God extending opportunity to those who have yet to come to Him. I ask all whose eyes fall upon these words today to “remember Jesus” with grateful and open hearts. May we all be filled with the same love for Him and for one another that He daily pours out on us.
Because of Jesus, we can have life instead of death; forgiveness instead of punishment; love instead of hate; peace instead of fear; joy instead of sorrow; unity instead of division; hope instead of dread; calm in spite of a storm…
Luke 2:6-14 “And so it was, that, while they were there, days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye should find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 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.”