Invitations entice us daily to depart the old and enter into the new that we long to become.  In each soul is a corner, a crevice a dark divide that is empty and willingly longing for change.  Substantial change, change that secures us, change that proves that good is to be had and compassion and love overflow and triumph over the awkward and dampening evils we are all capable of.  Yet our  old selves hold tightly to former times and smartly attempt to hold us captive against those things that can change us in a lasting way, flooding our hearts and dark spaces with newness of life and light that will drive out the darkest shadows.  Who can rightly reserve us from our inner turmoil, those parts of our being that attempt to shackle us in the name of failed attempts of righteous living….whose white lies, greed, unfruitful desires, and whole anger compile into a lengthy list that rightly embarrasses each one of us?  No one is perfect we are all far from it, and if we were to be boldly honest we would each admit that we desire more, more that can drive out and irradiate those places we wish to keep hidden, those falsities that we would never admit to…..Who can rightly rescue us from this life that promises much yet delivers only small sporadic amounts of counterfeit joy and wholeness? 

                There is a God that removed His splendid robes and wrapped Himself in human flesh, one who bore our iniquities and clothed himself in a blanket of our shame and all with the motivation of purest love to save.  This fully man, yet fully God-JESUS…..He was far superior for us to behold and yet entered this world in no royal castle and made His entrance not among the rich, wealthy, and revered, but in a stable wrapped in rags and nestled among animals huddled in the hay.  No royal nursery was prepared for the King at His birth, no regal procession of vast hosts of people paraded the news of his entry into our world……He preferred instead to come in humbly, quietly, He “made Himself nothing”.  No one expected their Savior and King to serve others, or to turn his back to accept the blows beneath the whip.  Our King surprised when He allowed the scoffers and when He permitted the barbed thorns to be driven into His brow…when He upon his bruised and bloodied back hoisted and dragged the rugged tree, carrying away our sins and bleeding out to make us pure.  What He accomplished He did nobly, more than any royalty throughout the ages past and to come.  His awesomeness veiled from the hearts of those who refuse to see the majesty and glory of His plans and purposes. 

                He died and accepted in His side the verification of their attempt to validate His demise-an arrow piercing the Creator and the Deliverer.  The One who saw our need, the one who knows our weaknesses and became like us so He could share our sorrow, so He could be our merciful High priest….He was carted away and laid to rest in a tomb that was lent.  What kind of nobility is this that laid down His life, never struggling under the cruel injustice, never demanding the lives of the worst of us sinners?  Instead…He descended into the very pit of hades, regaining the keys over death and causing it to “lose its sting.” 

                When He arose and appeared, he did not come to seek retribution for His cruel and senseless treatment, nor was His aim to make them pay-instead He paid the price and nullified the charge that was leveraged against us.  He did it for us, each one…We have all sinned, we have all fallen short even today of His glorious standard, yet He declares return to Me…. “for I have paid the price to set you free!” Isaiah 44:22

                Yes by the spotless One, the Almighty Creator of heaven and Earth who saw our need and never desired our separation.  He was victorious over those things that cause death so that in His death and resurrection we would have the hope of life everlasting.  And while the tree may sparkle with its white glittery lights, and while the kitchen may weft with the aromas of baked Christmas treats and even in the midst of carols dancing through the air….Remember Him-

                The Glorious One, the Majestic King, the Humble Savior & Mighty Creator…..laid down His life for you and His love has the power to transform, to show us the real meaning……….not just behind Christmas, but behind His plans and purposes, behind that name-  The name of Jesus…. For His name is love and it is the perfect gift, for “salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name in heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”  (Acts 4:12)

We pray that each one of us would let the name of Jesus shine brighter than the brightest Christmas star and that His glorious love would fill your hearts with joy and peace this Christmas.           

Merry Christmas and love to you through our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ!

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