All week I have been pondering how to write this post, you see Christmas time is a difficult time for many people but it is also a very difficult time for the body of Christ albeit not all members are aware of it. The difficulty comes in the conflict of beliefs surrounding Christmas (Easter is a whole other issue), to be honest I was in ignorance about this conflict until I became more open to the Hebraic origins of Christianity. You see there is a spectrum of beliefs held regarding the celebration and significance of Christmas, there are those who:
- on one side love it and view it as a great time to celebrate, have fun, attend church and catch up with friends and family
- and there are those who are disgusted by it and view it as a form of pagan worship and an opportunity to over indulge in the wrong type of things,
- then there are those who all they really care about is remembering the birth of Emmanuel, God made flesh and honouring and glorifying Him.
I personally have not celebrated “Christmas” for the last few years, and if asked my own view of where I place myself on the spectrum I would say I lie in-between the last two points. Even though I don’t personally believe Jesus was born on the 25th of December I do believe that Christmas provides a wonderful opportunity to extend the love and light of Christ to those who are still in darkness. Why am I brining this all up? Well, simply because like I mentioned there is a lot of conflict within the body of Christ and to be honest I’m tired of it.
One Sunday some weeks ago, my hubby left me to go to church (long story) and I decided to use the time to commune with God more formally. My husband is great at reading the scriptures and can read it for hours at a time but I tend to struggle in this area preferring to spend time singing and talking to the Lord. But at that time I knew that something was missing and felt that I really needed to feed on God’s Word. So I prayed and asked God to lead me in knowing what I should be led to read. After a little while a song came to my heart, and even though I knew I was supposed to be reading I sang the song anyway with the belief that God would lead me to a scripture as sometimes happens for me. The song which I sang was a worship song called, “El Gibor v’El Elyon” which loosely means Mighty God and God Most High. And after I sang this song three more worship songs came to my heart (When the Angels sing, For your name is Holy and Kadosh (Holy)) so I sang these songs too and whilst I sang these songs something amazing happened. I finally understood why I love to sing to God so much, when I sing to Him I feel transported, transfigured even outside of my sinful state and I am taken to a place of infinite glory, holiness, love, beauty and I feel like I’m being enveloped in living light, life, perfection, warmth and goodness. Even though I am the dust of the earth, cursed according to the heritage of the flesh during those moments I feel like I can literally touch the Throne of God, I have entered into the Holy of Holies.
This truth astounds me and makes me think, how did I get here? Why? And there is only one answer. Jesus, Yeshua HaMashiach. This experience is made possible for God’s children simply because He chose to be born of and in flesh for the sole purpose of reconciling us to Himself. When this revelation hit me I then had a burning desire to read the Nativity story, so I turned my bible to Luke 2 and read the whole chapter, and what an amazing chapter it is. I don’t know whether you have read this chapter recently but there are a few things which stuck out to me whilst reading it:
- the theme of the law, not only is the Nativity steeped in so many Hebrew customs and traditions but there is an underlying reference to the law and what it could not achieve within this chapter. It took One perfect in all matters of the law to save those who could not keep the law. This links to the next point of peace and salvation.
- Have you ever thought about how happy the angels were when they brought the good news of the Messiah’s birth? Their language says it all:
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
This truly was news to be joyous about, HalleluYAH, today in David’s city a saviour is born Christ the Lord. The angels could fully comprehend what this event heralded for mankind, gone was the rift between God and mankind now that God’s plan for salvation had finally manifested Himself in the physical realm.
- There is also an overwhelming sense of holiness and majesty throughout this chapter, God had done it and the angels were pouring out their praise and worship of Him. And what about Simeon? Can you imagine how this man of God who had been waiting for the ‘consolation of Israel’ how he must have felt when he held baby Yeshua in his arms! It stuns me how a God so holy could deign to not only enter human flesh but be born just to die in order to save us… whew…but He did.
My brothers and sisters, Christmas is celebrated for one day only but on that day over 2000 years ago the birth of the Messiah marked the start of an eternal heavenly celebration and a blessing of peace and goodwill towards mankind that has reached beyond the dedication of Jesus in the temple and is till in place today and forever more.
I believe that the angels have so much to praise God for, in fact the bible tells us that they continuously stand before God praising Him, but I believe they are particularly pleased with the fact that His creation, His children are now free from the wrath and curse of sin. I too believe this is a truth that should always be celebrated irrelevant of the date or time of the year. Whenever, I remember what God has done for me I am filled with soooo much joy and I just want to praise and worship Him as He deserves. I just can’t get my head around it, can you? For me, this news surpasses the ‘magic of Christmas’ and makes me so happy to belong to the Family of God.
So to wrap it all up, what am I going to be doing on December 25th 2011? I’ll be praising and Glorifying God, and what will I be doing the day after that, the same thing too, and hopefully I’ll be praising and Glorifying Him everyday until I die. And for those of you who really can’t stand the thought of “Christmas” why not use it as an opportunity to show Godly love. There are still so many lost souls, there are people hurting, people who are lonely, people who are on the verge of death who really could do with meeting their Messiah before it’s too late. Find them, love them, help them.
Loving you in Christ until I see you again, remember to remember and glorify Him. I made this video to capture what I feel this post embodies to me.
This week I am linking up with Joan @ Grace Cafe.