There is a very real conflict in the hearts of so many people right now. Because it is 2020, with every experience that has come to define a year unlike any other, people are more than ready to turn the calendar page to a new year and a fresh start. However, before we get to the beginning of 2021, we have to flip a few more pages on this calendar year, including tomorrow – Christmas. If ever there was a year that we needed to savor every second of Christmas, this is the year.
Perhaps that would be better if restated slightly. If ever there was a year when we needed to savor every second of the true meaning of Christmas, this is the year.
More than any year that we can collectively remember, 2020 has done a fantastic job of stripping away the veneer of the many trivialities that we have filled our lives with. I guess the combination of lock-downs, natural disasters and division will do that to us. But what it has revealed is that there are things that matter so much more to us than getting the top three items on our Christmas wish list. When you strip away those things, you realize how important it is to be reconciled to those you are closest to.
Jesus was born in Bethlehem more than 2,000 years ago because mankind desperately needed to be reconciled to our Creator. In the process, God humbled himself by becoming an infant, born in a manger, to be raised by parents of humble means who would do their best to prepare him for the world. Jesus would grow in this world, walking in our very shoes, tempted as we are, facing opposition and persecution, experiencing life under Roman occupation. He experienced hunger and thirst, the emotional pain of lost loved ones, and ultimately the horrendous physical pain of death upon a cross. Yet he endured all of that willingly, because he loves us, and he knew that by establishing the only way to reconcile us to God, he was restoring the most important relationship that any of us could ever have.
This Christmas, seek to be reconciled with those who are most important to you, in this life and in the life to come. And if you have been reconciled, then spend the entire day of Christmas and the days to come rejoicing, for there is truly no greater gift than that. Savor every moment, and proclaim “Joy to the World!” What better way to bring about the last few days of 2020 than with joy in your heart for the things that matter most.
Peace, blessings and Merry Christmas – Pastor Aaron