Merry Christmas! It is so good to get a chance to share with you a little of what we have been studying in the youth department and also my heart’s cry for both myself, my family and our church during this Christmas season.
The second chapter of Luke gives us the heartwarming story of Jesus found in the Bible, and it’s where we have been the last two weeks in our study. Jesus’ birth set into motion God’s promised plan to redeem the world. Nothing should be sweeter to us as children of God than to know that this is our story, a history we can call our own, with a God who offered His own Son as payment for our sins.
It is easy to remember that feeling this time of year, to be thankful for God’s gift in Jesus but when the season is over, what fills the home of our hearts and minds? The sense of awe experienced for the Savior fades, and along with the Christmas decorations, the emphasis on Jesus is packed up to the attic of our minds, only to be brought back out at Easter or again at Thanksgiving.
The rest of the year, the world does not place emphasis on the Savior and we as believers easily fall into the same pattern. We want the peace He offers but are not willing to give up what we want to receive it. Our hearts and minds remain unchanged because we stifle the flame lit by the Savior with the distractions and momentary pleasures of this world. Thankfully, the story of grace reaches further than the depths of our own ability to keep ourselves resting in it.
This past Wednesday I was reminded of that truth. We had our small groups on Luke 2 and with a little side note, we turned to 2 Corinthians 2:8-9. This scripture reads,
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake, he became poor so that you by his poverty might become rich.” I asked my group, “In what ways are we made rich through the coming of Jesus”?
One of the boys thought for a minute, then replied, “we are rich in His love”. I’ve rolled that thought around in my mind the last few days and thought about the ways we have been made rich because of what Christ has done. We are rich in His love by accepting His gift of grace and will live forever taking part in all the spiritual blessings He offers. We are rich because we have access to the wisdom of the universe when we allow the Spirit to do His beautiful work in our lives. And yes, we are rich in His love by being able to enjoy the Savior and all that He is daily!
This Christmas, please know that the opportunity to experience the “good news” given to this world is not meant to be exclusive to this time of year. Nor is it just reserved for a 15-minute window of our day or the Sundays or Wednesdays of our week. It is meant to be experienced daily!
When we fail to give God our lives in some way, whether through sin or the selfishness of living life our own way, we need to realize there is grace, and the wealth of its riches can never be spent! His love for us is without measure and unending. If we live in light of this grace each day, we will thank God for the birth of this baby that changed the world with His love. We will not allow ourselves to fall back into the routine of living for ourselves and will chase after our God each day. This is the good news of the Gospel and it is not reserved for one time of year. Luther said, “We need to hear the Gospel every