Christmas trees with bright stars atop,
Decorated houses on every block
Holiday music floats on the air
Bell ringers and Santas everywhere.
This Christmas season has been one of contemplation. I have so many times, stopped myself as I wish someone a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays, to question what am I truly saying or meaning. As I bought and wrapped presents, and looked at cards, as I have listened to Christmas music in my car. I wonder, what am I celebrating again? Did I think of Jesus in the middle of the aisles at Wal-mart? Did I thank God for His gift, as I pushed past people at the mall?
But God is so faithful to bring us back to Him. Sometimes He has to shout above all the noise we surround ourselves with, and sometimes it is that quiet and yet piercing whisper.
So what am I thinking of this year at Christmas?
No, I'm not thinking of a baby in manger, but yet I am thinking of the fulfillment of a promise. God took me Isaiah 53 the other day, and I thought, "This is really what we should be celebrating, and not just now at this time in our lives, but everyday!" Christmas is not about wonderment in children's eyes, as I have been told over and over again. It isn't about a man in a red suit going around making sure children are in their beds, and well behaved. It's about the gift that God gives to every man, the promise of salvation! And I know that Jesus wasn't necessarily born on Dec 25th, but He was born, and He is the savior, and I thank God for a gift that cannot compare to any gifts given or received on Christmas.
I love the smile on children's faces as they open presents, and the feeling of gratitude as I help out those in need, but none of this means anything without the acceptance of the only gift that can really satisfy. Knowing what God did for me, in order that I could be called His child, humbles me as a parent. I'm hoping my kids will like their new toys, but God wants us to accept His gift, His son, so that we may eternal life in Him!
Okay, Isaiah 53: Do you believe?
1 Who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
And as a root out of dry ground.
He has no form or comeliness;
And when we see Him,
There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
3 He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
4 Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment,
And who will declare His generation?
For He was cut off from the land of the living;
For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
9 And they made His grave with the wicked—
But with the rich at His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief.
When You make His soul an offering for sin,
He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.
11 He shall see the labor of His soul,and be satisfied.
By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,
For He shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,
And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,
Because He poured out His soul unto death,
And He was numbered with the transgressors,
And He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors.
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