Greetings! Another year is already here! In my head, I am thinking “How could that be?” With the Advent season coming to its climax on Christmas Day, as Christians around the world celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the last week of the year seems to fly by. And now we are already into the New Year 2018, as this blog is posted. Even so, I will begin by sharing a dear friend’s thoughts about Christmas in her personal writing, with her permission:
What Christmas Means to Me
by Judy Canterbury
One of my favorite authors is Liz Curtis Higgs. In her book The Women of Christmas, she states, “Christmas is all about miracles. About making the impossible possible.” I love the Christmas story in the Bible and never tire of its supernatural story line or of its miraculous, yet personally embraceable truths. How it blesses me to see God, having promised the Seed of a woman Who would crush the Serpent’s head, reach down and turn on the events that would rearrange the landscape of a world plagued with sinfulness and hopelessness.
Christmas is the time of year in which we ladies become the planners, purveyors, and producers of the biggest birthday bash of the year. The perfect Christmas becomes our goal, and in that, we start to lose the miracle itself. So often, if I’m mindful to reel myself in, it blesses me to stop and realize that the first Christmas was, humanly speaking, far from neat and tidy. Can you imagine how disjointed and disorganized it must have seemed for both its participants and spectators, even though it was God’s Plan A?
God’s plan placed Mary and Joseph in quite a social dilemma, to say the least. In addition, a long, hard journey for a very pregnant young woman was mandated. Joseph shouldered the responsibility of an impending birth, with nowhere readily available for the occasion. Contrary to the western depictions of this old story, there probably was no sweet-smelling hay to soften the hard, nasty dirt floor of an animal byre on which Mary writhed in the agony of giving birth. This couple surrendered and gave all in order to carry out the will of the Father.
That first Christmas hardly seemed the scenario that would produce some of the world’s finest literature and music—or that would ultimately alter the way a sinless, holy God would interact with sinful, debased humankind. But it did—and that is what I love so much about Christmas!
You see, fifty-seven years ago, on a cold December Sunday, a ten year-old girl, the daughter of a poor coal miner, knelt at the altar in a one-room frame church in the mountains of West Virginia, and she received the greatest Gift of her entire lifetime. It was a life-changing Gift that would fill her spirit and give her a new heart. It would set her destiny in the world, spare her many heartaches, and would comfort and strengthen her in the small and great sorrows that would touch her life. It would take her beyond herself in many inexplicable ways, but most of all, it would allow her to call the Creator of All Things her Father, her Savior, and her Abiding Friend.
How I thank God that He called me to Himself and let me come to know and trust this Immanuel of Christmas. GOD with us! God WITH us! God with US! The reality of Immanuel is truly the miracle that makes the impossible possible. And that possibility extended to me—and all mankind—is at the very heart of what Christmas means to me.
Does her story touch your heart? What do your Christmas memories look like? Can you rejoice like Judy, even if your Christmas didn’t meet your expectations? Maybe you didn’t even want to celebrate Christmas because of all the disappointments, pain, and sorrow in your life right now. Maybe you don’t know this Jesus that is celebrated by Christians around the world, and you wonder what your next Christmas could be like if you make the choice to believe in Him?
If we all let Jesus Christ, who is Christmas, lead us into the New Year and rely on Him for each moment of each day, we could be excited and expectant about our New Year! Sound impossible? Well it is not impossible! Just as the Virgin Birth was not impossible!
For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment. (Luke 1:37) (Amplified Bible)
Crossway Ministries exists to serve our fellow mankind and proclaim the truths of Jesus Christ, the Messiah. If you are not ready for a new year and struggling with life, we are here to come along side of you. We can share how you also can have faith and joy in every season of life, regardless of your circumstances. Don’t put it off. Contact us today. There can be a new and different Christmas in your life!