♣ Joy in Immanuel
“Christ came to His own and His own people did not receive Him. But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full grace and truth. And from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace” – John 1:11-16.
MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS of people will extravagantly celebrate this Christmas season while others ponder and wonder over the reason why Christ came to earth; for many, this is the occasion to eat and drink excessively, while for others, who may not even afford the basics of a traditional Christmas dinner, will celebrate with simplicity and joy for the Saviour Who came among us to reconcile us to God.
The greatest gift any one of us could ever receive is the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world. How contrary to the debt so many get into by purchasing gifts to be kept in the good opinion of others; how so many have lost the ‘true spirit of Christmas’. It is not about who can outdo others, who has the best trimmings or who can impress others by spending the most. This blessed season is a time to realise that our salvation has come; it is the Good News, that while none of us can afford or earn our acceptance with God, we are invited to come if we thirst for true life; we are called to come to Christ though we have nothing to give in exchange: “He who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price” (Isaiah 55:1).
So many expend all their energy and time on things that fade away – the passing pleasures that leave us empty in the long run, while Christ, Who is the true ‘Bread of life’, calls us to listen to Him, to delight ourselves in Him and so taste the richness of life (Isaiah 55:2) – life in abundance (John 10:10). “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to Me shall not hunger and whoever believes in Me shall never thirst” (John 6:35). It is life in Him, not in things, that makes our joy complete. This was the testimony of the early Christians, that though their homes were plundered and taken from them, they knew joy beyond words, not because of an ecstatic feeling, but rather, because of the persuasion that their treasures were heavenly, not earthly (having seen the insignificance of them), laid up one by one, of which they encountered foretastes; no one in their right minds would have relinquished their possessions had they not known something better was to come and neither was it mere hope, but an undeniable and confident anticipation that these rewards were soon to come (Hebrews 11:1).
It is astounding as to how many will luxuriously celebrate Christmas and still miss out on its true Essence and Joy; many will have their mulled wine to bring in the warmth, champagne to enhance the laughter while oblivion blinds them to the One Who alone can satisfy the aching and longing heart. Very few in comparison, to the majority, will celebrate with simplicity (according to the world’s standards), not having much, yet possessing everything because they are rich in Christ; lacking acceptance and honour in the world but recognised, known and embraced by heaven; ostracised by others maybe but not alone because the Father, Son and Holy Spirit dwell with those who receive the priceless Gift of salvation – the Son of God Who became flesh at this season time; the Saviour Who once poorly resided among a destitute humanity for the spiritually poor to be made rich through Him; Immanuel Who was broken for you and I so that we would be made whole.
Posted on December 22, 2013, in ♣ Devotional and tagged alone, broken, celebrate, Christmas, debt, destitute, devotional, excessive, extravagance, foretastes, gift of salvation, gifts, Good News, heavenly, Immanuel, Isaiah 55:1, Isaiah 55:2, John 10:10, John 1:11-16, John 6:35, joy, Joy in Immanuel, life in abundance, loved, made whole, Mark Anthony Williams, ostracised, passing pleasures, possessions, receive, rich, salvation, satisfy, Saviour, simplicity, spiritually poor, treasures. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.