This time of year, it seems everyone is trying to tell me what Christmas is "all about."
"Christmas is all about family."
"...all about giving."
"...all about counting our blessings."
"...all about peace on earth."
There are a lot of wonderful things we associate with Christmas. All of them are good things to celebrate, but they are all fleeting.
What happens when my house burns? When I lose my job? When my family member dies? When someone I love is spending Christmas in a combat zone?
If the fleeting things are my only focus, then circumstances like illness, death, poverty, and war can rob me of my reasons for celebration. Unless I am celebrating the REALITY of Christmas, life can unleash its harshest attacks on me at Christmas by robbing me of the transitory things I celebrate.
The reality of Christmas is JESUS, and God's love that sent Him to us. Christmas is a celebration of the irreversible fact that Jesus was born on earth, died on the cross, and arose from the dead to save us!
He has already accomplished all of that!
It has already taken place!
There is NO WAY we can be robbed of it!
If we are celebrating the reality of Christmas, then,
"...(neither) trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword...neither death or life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:35,38-39, NIV)
We can say with the prophet Habakkuk,
"Though the fig tree does not bud and there are grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior." (Habakkuk 3:17-18, NIV)
For all time, Christmas is here! Jesus is here!
We are redeemed!
HE IS RISEN!!