But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can boast." (Ephesians 2:4-9)
We don’t actually know the day on which Jesus was born. It probably was not “in the deep mid-winter,” as the carol puts it. Still, it makes sense to celebrate the coming of Christ near the winter solstice, when we could imagine the entire world dying, but then the days start growing longer again. Scripture says that in Jesus God was giving life to us—spiritual, eternal life—as a free gift, ours for the taking. We could no more negotiate our reconciliation with God than we could talk the earth into tilting for us to bring back summer. But for those who believe, the entire order of the universe was tilted in our favor by the gift of God’s Son, who became one of us so that we could become one with Him.
“Heavenly Father, thank You for the incredible gift of Jesus, Your Son born to live, die, and rise from death for our reconciliation. Give us faith to endure and enjoy the salvation of Christ in this season that bears His name! In Christ Jesus, amen.”
THE NICK OF TIME
It was coming up to Christmas as the judge addressed the defendant.
"Now then, tell me, what is the charge against you?"
"I was caught doing my Christmas shopping very early." replied the man in the dock.
"That doesn't seem like an offence to me. What do you mean by 'very early?
"Well, your Honor." said the defendant, "It was before the shop was open."
A woman told her friend: "At Christmas, I had a visitor!
It was a jolly, bearded fellow with a big bag over his shoulder."
"You mean Santa Claus came to see you in person?"
"No," she replied. "My son came home from college with his dirty laundry."
The Lord bless your celebrations with His presence!
As Pastor at Pilgrim, Kirk is fueled by a passion for God's Word and a lot of good coffee.