As we come to the season of Christmas, it is easy to lose sight of the big picture of life and focus almost entirely on small, temporal things: the busyness of decorating the home, the hustle and bustle of purchasing gifts, preparing meals and taking time to tidy up the house for guests.
It is important we take time to build relationships with our families and friends and enjoy happy, healthy moments with them. I trust you are living in relationships which add value to life not pain, hurt and wounds that do not bring peace and contentment. I pray you will be filled with love and peace.
The birth of Jesus Christ was designed by God to bring Love to mankind in deep humility so we might better understand the nature of God. He did not come to force Himself upon us but to give us a choice on what we will choose to be important in life. Jesus was born in humility to an extremely poor, young virgin known as Mary who was engaged to a lowly poor carpenter named Joseph. They were forced by the Augustus, the Roman ruler to travel from where they were living in Nazareth to Bethlehem, their ancestral home town and also the ancestral home of David, located about five miles south of Jerusalem, to be enrolled in a census and to be taxed.
The prophet Micah predicted that Bethlehem would be the birthplace of the Messiah (Micah 5:2), a prophecy quoted in Matthew 2:6. It was significant that the King of kings, who was of the house of David, was born in David’s ancestral home. According to Luke, Jesus was born “in the city of David,” Bethlehem (Luke 2:11). Christ, who is the Bread of Life, was born in a stable and cradled in a town with a name meaning “house of bread.”
After the birth of Jesus an angel appeared to shepherds in the fields surrounding Bethlehem and spoke these words to them: “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord…” Angels appeared to them praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” See Luke 2.
We have a choice: we can pack our hearts with the things of the world or we can allow God to fill our hearts full of the great joy and peace of Jesus Christ. It takes time and is a challenge to focus on what is really important in life. May God challenge us on what really matters in life – and make us uncomfortable if we are not allowing Him to fill our heart with His love, compassion, joy and peace. His love is our bread, the reason for the season of Christmas – the birth of a man called Jesus: Emmanuel, God with us.