Here we are again, at Christmas, ‘the most wonderful time of the year’, as the song says. As a young boy, I remember I could hardly wait till Christmas came around, though it wasn’t because of all the gifts I would soon receive. You see, I come from a big family and my father was a simple carpenter, who seemed to be more out of work than at work, through no fault of his own. The construction trade is what some would call a feast or famine type of trade. When the town is booming, there is usually more work than there are workers, but when the going is slow and no one is building, only the best and those who have the right connections seem to stay working.
Going back to my opening statement that I could hardly wait for Christmas to roll around, I remember as a young boy that Christmas meant more to me than presents because as I said as kids we never got a lot of presents at Christmas. Christmas was special because it was the time Jesus was born and that somehow meant a lot to me, though at the time I couldn’t give you a reason as to why it meant a lot to me. I remember sitting for hours and staring at our Christmas tree. Our parents couldn’t afford those real nice fake tress that so many of us, including myself, now have. We couldn’t afford all the nice lights and decorations for our Christmas tree that so many of us today just take for granite. Our Christmas tree was just a little simple real tree decorated with a few decorations that meant a lot to my folks, a few strands of big colorful bulbs along with some bubble lights, ( I liked those) some tinsel tossed all over the tree with a pretty star on top, yet it was still beautiful to me.
Christmas was also the time when all our family came together, and trust me when I say we were a big family. We would all sit around and sing songs, eat some great Mexican food and just enjoy each others company. One of the Christmas songs we would always sing, was Silver Bells, which was my mothers favorite Christmas song. Part of the lyrics in the song say, “In the air there’s a feeling of Christmas. Children laughing, people passing, meeting smile after smile.” Yes, times were different back then but one would think with time shouldn’t we have noticed that things have gotten better? Yet, here we are in 2014 and we still sadly find we have so much hatred and discord in our society and in our streets that it grieves my heart as I know it must grieve the heart of our Lord. What happened to meeting smile after smile?
In Luke 2:8-14, we read the account where the angel Gabriel said to some shepherds out in a field that he was bringing good news of great joy to them that would be for all people: today in the town of David a Savior had been born to them; He is Christ the Lord! Jesus says in John 3:17 “For God did not send His Son (Jesus Christ) into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.”
As I’ve watch all the rioting, hatred and discord recently being played out on the streets of America on TV, I wonder what will it take for there to be peace between the races; between mankind? Laws never bring peace for there will always be someone who breaks the law; justice will never bring peace for you will always find someone who will say what one considers justice means injustice to them. Peace will come only when the good news of great joy the angel announced to some shepherds that night, Jesus Christ, is truly lived out in the hearts and lives of His people.
The feeling of Christmas in the air is not found in gifts, Christmas trees and decorations, parties or even in family. The true feeling of Christmas is found only in the Savior who was born in the town of David; Jesus Christ, as He is reason for the season. As to all the rioting, hatred and discord we see in our streets, I believe only when the church of Jesus Christ begins to act like the true family of God and rids itself of all discord and malice among themselves and we allow the love of Christ to flow freely among us, will our witness and message to a hurting world be effective. When the world begins to see the church of the Almighty God acting in true love and forgiveness towards one another, I believe we won’t have enough churches to handle to crowds that will come. Change begins with us, not with the government or politicians.
I heard someone recently say that America needs a healing to take place. There is only One that can bring true healing to our hurting nation, our hurting world and that is Jesus Christ, the One whom the angel Gabriel spoke about to those shepherds that night. As Christians, let’s purpose this Christmas to give the gift of the love of Jesus to everyone we see but let’s first make sure that gift is real and active in our own lives so our witness will go far. As Christians let’s determine to pray for the healing of Jesus Christ to heal the hearts of our nation; of our word, but let it begin with us! Feliz Navidad to all and may God’s peace come to our nation, to our world this year :-))
Categories: A Pastor's Blog