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From the Front Porch: “Great Expectations at Christmas”

December 19, 2011 1 comment

English: Nativity scene

Image via Wikipedia

Christmas has always been a season of high hopes and great expectations. In short, it is a season when we celebrate the many blessings God has given to us, especially the gift of his Son born to humble parents in Bethlehem over two millennia ago.  This Christmas is a very special time for my family because it  is my grandchild’s first Christmas.

Born this past April to my son and daughter-in-law, Kaylee is a miracle child, of sorts. My daughter-in-law’s medical condition presumably meant that she couldn’t have children. They had tried for several years to have a baby to no avail. But this year, after a difficult pregnancy, God blessed my son and his wife with the precious gift of a healthy child–a gift unlike any they could ever have hoped for. Certainly, there is no grater gift at Christmas or any other time of the year.

It is just like God to see through human impossibility to divine possibility. Over two millennia ago, God gave the world a very special gift–the gift of his Son born to humble parents in Bethlehem. The birth of Jesus was also miraculous and special–a tangible sign that in Jesus, God had come to save his people. And God’s great gift of Jesus continues to be a blessing to the world, for it is through faith in Jesus that our sins are forgiven and we become inheritors of God’s Kingdom. Could there possibly be any greater, life-transforming gift than that?

In our consumer culture, many people  become so absorbed in the celebration of Christmas that they forget about God’s gift of Jesus to the world at Christmas. Instead, they focus on consumerism — gifts given and received — as a benchmark for calculating one’s “blessings”. This type of thinking leads many into the throes of depression at this time of year. But God is a “game-changer”.  The child born in a manger to humble parents in Bethlehem asks us to divert our gaze from the consumerism of this world to the throne of God’s grace in praise and thankfulness for all He has done for us.

This year, you can avoid feelings of depression by maintaining a positive, joyful spirit of thankfulness to God for all the things that you do have, for everything that you have, whether it be much or little–your health, home, family, job–everything!–comes from the hand of a loving God who gave us everything that he had–the gift of his Son–so that through faith in Him, we might enjoy the peace, joy and love that this very special season of Christmas offers to all of us.

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