REST IN JESUS
At Christmas time we celebrate the arrival of our Creator, our
King, and Redeemer to the world. But people at our schools, in
our workplace, and sometimes in our own families don’t seem to
always see its true importance, do they? Our friends get caught up
in what gifts they will be giving or receiving, our families seem more
interested in whether the dinner will be ham or turkey, and even
our own church communities seem to fall into the trap of making
Jesus’ birth about a cute baby and his donkeys.
During these times is when it is so important for us to realize that
we don’t need to fight for God’s honour. We don’t need to worry
about the supposed “war on Christmas” that we sometimes feel is
happening against the Church. The all-powerful Lord and Creator
of the universe chose to heal and rescue the world, not by declaring
war on the Roman Empire that was hurting his people, or getting in
arguments with those who didn’t properly understand Him, but by
making Himself “nothing” by “taking on the form of a slave” and by
being “born in human likeness” (Philippians 2: 6-8).
Jesus really does hold “the whole world in His hands” as the classic
children’s hymn declares. Colossians 1: 16-17 tells us that, “all
things have been created through him and for him,” and that “in
him all things hold together.” This means that we can worry less
about where we may think our friends and family are falling short
in relation to Christ, and focus more on where He is working with
them in their lives.
When we become preoccupied with gift giving, we can be reminded
of the ultimate gift of Christ to the world. When the world sees
Christmas as being primarily about doing good things for one
another, we can be reminded that in Christ all good deeds are held
together. Christ has come to the world “to proclaim freedom for the
prisoners, recovery of sight for the blind, and to set the oppressed
free” (Luke 4: 18). When we are together with family and friends, we
can be reminded of Jesus’ deep commitment to His own family and
friends, even the ones like Judas and Peter who betray him.
The early Christians didn’t have it all figured out either. Peter and
Paul argued, and the Church as a whole hadn’t even fully agreed on
what it meant for Jesus to be both God and man yet. But God’s love
and commitment to the Church remained. It grew and thrived in
spite of its shortcomings.
Let’s try to focus less on where we may think our friends and
families are falling short this season, and more on where we can
walk alongside them to help them – and ourselves – to better see
the love and healing that Jesus has introduced to the world.
Where and how will Jesse be celebrating Christmas?
With his wife and family in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. It is always cold but
beautiful, with a lot of great Christmas lights.