This year, like every year, finds its finish in a reminder of the saving of the heart of mankind. I know there are some who have never really ever thought about Christmas in its original form or even what the implications are for us today. I just want you to know we, here at the Standard Newspaper, care about who you are. If you will allow the grace, we are praying for everyone in this community and all within our distribution areas. Every town, township and region is full of those who care.
Your neighbours, although some may be a bit shy, are just like you, at the basic level, so just a reminder, you are not alone. Some, because they don’t want to offend, reach out to help others by working in organizations, like food banks, community care groups and churches. However, during these times of covid, some of these opportunities have been shut down or reduced in their ability to make contact. Prayer is a way, we, who know the Lord, can reach out and still bless the lives and livelihoods of those in need.
Now you may say something like, “What good is prayer, when I need shelter, or food, or a job?” Well, it may seem unconventional to you, but there are millions of people worldwide who depend daily on the answers to prayer, from our loving God. This time of year is a time to break free of patterns which hold a person in negative cycles. You know God does answer through people and circumstances, when we will open up to the way He does things and ask. Just like when He came in the form of a little child, named Jesus, born to enter the world and invade its heart, one grateful acceptance at a time. There is a gift offered through the first Christmas, which is still being offered today, to anyone who would ask God to come into their hearts. Now that’s Christmas!
Have you ever looked into the face of a newborn child, smelled their hair or felt that gentle squeeze around your finger as their tiny hand grasps it. All it takes is that contact, for them to feel secure. This is also like the experience of allowing God to dwell in your heart. It’s what we are created for and how we find the ultimate meaning of our existence. Ever wanted that question answered? Only the one who made us all knows the true meaning for your life.
The angels, on that first Christmas day, Jesus Christ’s own birthday, shared a message with the everyday normal people of the day. Much like many today, these people lived in simple conditions, finding work on a day by day basis. They were sheep-herders, hence the name shepherd. They cared for, guided, and protected innocent sheep from “predators at the door,” so to speak. A good shepherd would even lay down his life to protect the sheep. This is the nature of someone who truly cares. I think that’s why they were chosen to be the ones to whom the message of Christmas was delivered directly from heaven. God knew how protective they would be to him as a baby.
Jesus’ earthly mom and dad had to make a trip to the town of Bethlehem, so did many others, ordered by the government for a census, but all the hotels were closed, and nobody was comfortable letting them in their home, being so busy with this inflow of people. At the same time Jesus’ mother, Mary, was ready to give birth to Jesus. His parents were only able to find a place for Jesus to be born in a local stable.
Now, Jesus lived and grew among us, and as God looking through our eyes, could see the sin of human beings in this life. He also knew this needed to be changed. In Psalm 40:6-8 and in Hebrews 10:8-9, it says God wasn’t pleased with the endless sacrificial deaths of animals, and the effects of our condition are deeper than animal’s lives can pay for anyhow. This could not solve the inner problem of sin’s infection. Still in Hebrews 9:22 the Bible says, “There is no freedom from sins without the shedding of blood,” but the blood needed to be of a different order, of unlimited value, to cure us forever. Christ himself is the only one whose blood carries that value, so it could only be Him who could make the trade for ourselves.
It just so happens, the stable was built where all the sacrifice lambs were born, used for the yearly cleansing of the sins of the people, written in the Law.
The Bible, in the Book of Luke 2:8-14, says these protective shepherds were “keeping watch over their flock by night, when an angel of the Lord appeared and the glory of the Lord shone around them.” The shepherds were overwhelmed, but the angel said, “Don’t be afraid, I come to you with good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Because to you is born today in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Then the angel said they would find him, a baby, in a feed trough for a cradle, wrapped in strips of cloth. Then a great number of other angels appeared with the one and sang “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
They went to where they were told He would be and found Him there, they joyfully told others and all worshipped God.
Jesus was willing to put an end to all this sacrifice by fulfilling what the law really required through His blood. It’s apparent, we need a solution to fix the problem of misdirected souls. It’s our inner struggle with sin that’s the issue.
Jesus came as a baby, with a brand new kind of life, exuding from every pore. The timing of his coming was precise. In increasing cold and darkening days he brought warmth to human hearts and light to the real need within our lives, for those who would embrace him.
Every child addresses the three things we struggle with. Think of it, they bring new life, which in its essence invigorates ours. Their lives, in degree, validate ours, as we learn to address their needs, teaching them well, even teaching them to avoid the distracted ways of the world. They also give us a new chance to get relationships right, they are our ‘do over’, as we teach them how to live at peace with others, difficult or not.
It’s not an accident God came to us as a child, and the Angels sang a song of “Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men”. Internal, eternal peace, is offered “Toward Men”, meaning humankind, but it individually remains what we will do with it. Make the choice this Christmas and ask Christ to enter your heart, he will set up his peace there. Hey, ‘garbage in garbage out’, it works the other way too. Make the wise choice, the running and emptiness will stop, the validation will enter in. Then other gifts will come from healthier, more conscious intentions year round, transforming your Christmas, the days after, and those of the ones you love forever.
Wise Men (all wise people) Still Seek Him.
Have a Very Merry Christmas!