Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Joy of Christmas

I love Christmas. And I love it for a whole lot of reasons. I love being around family. I love surprising my husband with a gift he was not expecting. I love the atmosphere this holiday creates. But more than anything, I love what Christmas means. The fact that Christmas exists means that we have a God who loves us more than we can possibly imagine. 

This God, our God, sent His Son to earth for the sole purpose of providing us with salvation, a way to spend eternity with God our Father. I know I am still waiting on our little one to come home, but I cannot fathom intentionally sending my child into harm's way for other people, many of whom would reject the whole thing anyway. But that is what God did. He sent His Son, not as a King, but as a vulnerable baby who had to grow up and learn and mature. Why? So that we would know that we not only serve a great God, but that this same God has also experienced what we have experienced. He knows our hurt, our joy, our loss, our everything. Jesus Christ endured all of these things and far more on our behalf. For our sake and for His glory. You see, in doing this, God not only provided salvation for us, His adopted children, He also magnified His great Name. What kind of all-powerful God chooses to suffer on behalf of humanity? This One. His character is revealed to us through this sacrifice. We sacrifice for the people we love, and that is how those people know we love them. I think about my own parents and how much they sacrificed for my sister and me when we were growing up (and even now). I am so grateful for them and for their love. It allowed me to experience so many things, and it showed me their love for us and the character of their hearts. It is the same with God. He has made the ultimate sacrifice--there is none higher. And we are the beneficiaries. And through this great sacrifice, we see that He is good. He did not have to do this. He wanted to. Let that sink in. 

By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
    Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
    for the transgression of my people he was punished.
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
    and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
    nor was any deceit in his mouth.
Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
    and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
    and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
After he has suffered,
    he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
    and he will bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
    and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
    and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
    and made intercession for the transgressors.
Isaiah 53

God chose to do this so that you and I could have the opportunity to spend all of eternity right by His side. It is my hope and prayer that if you have not already done so, you will open your heart to Him on this Christmas Day. Rejoice in the sacrifice that our loving Heavenly Father has made for you. He would do it again, because it is His desire that none should perish. He loves you. He loves you more than you could ever imagine. 

"And there were shepherds living out in the field nearby, keeping watch over their flocks by night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said, to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord.'" Luke 2:8-11

On a different note, I woke up this morning thinking about our sweet little bird, hoping and praying that this will be the last Christmas morning we know without our precious child. So while we are enjoying today with family, there is a touch of sadness, because our family is not yet whole. Part of my heart is on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, and I am praying that the Lord fills that space oh so soon. I love you, little one. 

Have a wonderful Christmas. 


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