It’s frigid again today in New Jersey. I’m in sweats and heavy socks, the dog is wearing his new (too-big) sweater I knit him (back to the drawing board!), and nothing would be nicer than curling up on the sofa with a cup of tea, in front of the electric fire, and binge watch something on DVD. Instead, I just went into the garage and backed the car out, and hauled the Christmas storage boxes into the house. Time to take down the tree, pack up the Hallmark houses and Coca-Cola train, wrap up the nativity set. Then I get to move the furniture back into place.
But even though the trappings of Christmas get boxed up and put away for another year, the message and significance of Christmas never should! What message, you ask? A simple one. It’s the message of an Almighty God that so loves each person and individual that he does not want even one of them to live hopeless, sinful, without him. So he chose to give up heaven and everything he was to be born as a human child, to live a perfect life in order to show us how to live in a right relationship with God the Father, and then willingly chose to pay the blood price for all the sin committed by each human being who ever lived or who ever will.
PAID the price. Slate wiped clean. Nothing further owed. But he not only paid the debt, Jesus CONQUERED the problem – sin and death – by rising, living and whole, to live forever. And astoundingly, unbelievably, he offers us the same eternal life – if we believe with our hearts that Jesus did all that, and accept that gift of life that Jesus offers!
A message that doesn’t get packed up in a box from January till December. A message that is for all people in all times. A message of hope, love, joy. Will you hear? Will you answer? Will you accept the gift?