It’s silent this morning as I sit here drinking my coffee and snuggling with my dog, who loves to snore while sleeping in my lap. The world is slowly waking up as the sun slowly rises. If I didn’t know better, I’d think it’s just a regular morning. Yet, it isn’t just any old morning, it’s Christmas morning!
The long awaited day is finally here!
There’s presents waiting to be opened, a feast waiting to be eaten, and family waiting to see us.
We’ve been living in some unprecedented times these last few years; but no matter how crazy it gets out there in the world, I know that we have nothing to fear.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
It may seem like fiery darts are coming at us from all sides, that our faith is being tested everywhere we turn, but I assure you, God is with us. All we have to do is trust and obey.
“Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.” Psalms 62:2
“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.” Isaiah 54:10
We have this hope because God came down from Heaven in the form of a man, Jesus, Immanuel, God with us. He was born to a poor teenage couple, in a barn, and his crib was a feeding trough.
Jesus was raised like all the other Jewish children, going to the temple, and learning his father’s trade of being a carpenter.
He spent the first 30 years of his life preparing for his ministry, and only three years of actual ministry. But in those few years he left an impression that would last for all eternity. And then it was time for Him to go, to leave this earth, and wait for the day to return to us once more.
When Jesus was only 33 years old his mother, his friends, his siblings, and his disciples watched as He was crucified on a cross. They watched as their Savior, their Messiah, their friend, their Prince of Peace, their Lamb of God, their Mighty Counselor suffered and died.
Before he was arrested, he prayed,
“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.” John 17:1-5
Even in His darkest hours, Jesus thought of us, and He prayed for us.
“I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” John 17:11-26
Jesus didn’t come to earth to only be remembered as a baby born in a manger. It’s a great story, for sure, but that’s just the beginning. And after His death on the cross, the story still wasn’t over. Three days later, the tomb where He was laid was empty. Jesus, our God, was victorious over death!
Because Jesus was born a man, paid the ultimate sacrifice for our sins upon the cross, and conquered the grave, we have reason to rejoice!
I’m reminded of this song we used to sing when I was a child:
Because he lives I can face tomorrow,
Because he lives all fear is gone,
Because I know, I know he holds the future,
And life is worth the living just because he lives.
(Because He Lives, Bill Gaither)
I could sing His praises all day long, every day because of this great hope. This great assurance.
This is why Christmas is so special to me.
Because the day Jesus was born, the Light of Hope entered into the world and darkness was shattered once and for all, losing it’s grip on the world.
“Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.” 1 Peter 3:18
My prayer for you today is that you will come to know this same love and hope, and you will be strengthened by this blessed assurance – by this salvation afforded you because of Jesus’ death on the cross. That you will have reason to sing, and reason to face tomorrow.
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people.” Ephesians 1:18
Merry Christmas, my dear friends.
To follow the whole series of Journey to Christmas, click here: https://jenniferjabbour.com/the-journey-to-christmas-advent-series/