Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

We celebrated Christmas with grandma yesterday and had a fairly relaxing day today. There is a part of our community that is decorated very nicely and the sidewalks are all lined with candles in paper bags with sand. Cars drive on this loop and people ride bikes, scooters, golf carts, trailers, boats (on a trailer), etc. It is a great time for everyone. Our pastor and a couple other people from church have houses in this section of the neighborhood, so we went over there and had a great time a fellowship. We had a Christmas Eve service followed by singing with the choir throughout the night in this stable/stage. We give out coffee, hot chocolate, apple cider, cookies, fudge, etc. to the people walking and/or driving by. It's always a neat time.

Today, I have been thinking quite a bit about what it means to celebrate Christ's birth. I came to the conclusion that the best way to celebrate Christ's birth is by living in the reality of His ownership of me. Christ gave all for us... we give to others to remember the perfect gift of Christ. Ephesians 2 has been on my heart all day. It is such a joyful thing to meditate on these truths.
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
Were it not for the gift of Christ, I would be dead in my sins. The ultimate purpose of my life would be to make myself happy. What a worthless and sad life that would be. Christ has rescued me from darkness and transferred me into His marvelous light. He has seated me with Christ in heavenly places so that He can demonstrate His abundant riches to me through Christ. It is a gift that I have accepted. There is nothing that I could do to add to the gift to make it better. I do not deserve it, but He has given His Son freely to die on my behalf so that I might live.

Now, because I believe all these things to be true, the natural next step is to live completely in the reality of this gift of Christ... we were created for good works. God ordained us to be bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit within us. He created us to fellowship in the most intimate way with Him. Let us live in the reality of Christ this Christmas. Let us serve one another in love. Let us come before the throne of Christ and rejoice in the gift of Christ. Let us see our brothers and sisters in Christ as joint heirs with Christ and treat them as such. Let us give generously... not from what we don't have or without wisdom, but freely and with pure motives. But, may the things of this earth grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace in each of our hearts this Christmas.

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