Christmas evokes so many charming images from shimmering and sparkly to rustic and homespun from warm and cozy to frosty and snowy from romantic and tender to whimsical and funky . . . and on we could go.
The season is filled with symbols that we love from sleigh bells and carols to snowmen and candy canes from Christmas trees and presents to stockings and Santa and all the colors of red and gold, green and silver or even cranberry and pink . . . and on we could go.
However, none is more poignant to us than the image of the baby Jesus, wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger while Mary and Joseph and the shepherds kneel close by, the luminous star hovers overhead and the hosts of angels sing Glory to God in the Highest, Peace on Earth Goodwill to Men.
We know and we believe that without the Christ Child, there would be no true Christmas, no Peace on Earth nor would there be much Good Will towards men. That scene from the movie It's a Wonderful Life comes to mind. The one where Clarence the angel shows George Bailey how desolate life would have been for the town of Bedford Falls without the goodness he brought to everyone in it.
Yet, during Christmas when we think of the Christ Child, Jesus, what exactly do we picture? Think for a moment, what do you picture?
I think most of us picture a vulnerable, tiny infant, needing care to survive. We think of our own precious babies and their absolute dependence upon us.
Indeed, at that moment, in human form, Jesus was helpless and vulnerable and needy. Yet, laying in that manger, though just a newborn baby, He was still God.
Let's not lose our perspective of that this season.
At Christmas time just as much as at Easter time, Jesus is the risen Savior, saving us from sin that can strangle and defeat us, sin that would eventually keep us eternally separated from God. Instead He invites us to enjoy an eternal relationship with Himself that will never end.
Jesus is always our Shepherd, tenderly guiding us, caring for us, watching over us, and providing for us.
All throughout the year, Jesus is our dearest Friend, available to hear our prayers, standing ready to provide healing for our spirits and our bodies as well as sustenance for our souls. Every minute of every day, He is aware of each and everything that is happening to us.
No matter what the circumstances in our lives, in our cities, in our state, in our country, or in our world, Jesus is still the King of Kings and Lord of Lords--He is not helplessly standing by, wondering what to do next--He is in charge of human history and His plan will be carried out in the world. The very last thing He promised His disciples before He left the earth was that He would be with us, to the end of the ages.
On Christmas day as well as each day throughout the year, let's keep in mind that Jesus never changes, He never grows weary,
He never takes a break, and He never stops being actively involved with those who follow Him.
And while we should enjoy the image of the baby Jesus and the emotions that stirs within us, let's never forget who the baby Jesus really is - the King of Heaven and the most powerful force on this earth.
Throughout this season, let's keep the image of Jesus Christ - powerful King, tender Friend, attentive Shepherd, risen Savior and on we could go . . . giving honor and glory and praise to our God.
How fortunate we are to know Him and how much we need to share that good fortune with those around us.
~Deborah Kaye McDade~
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