Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas In Your Heart

Christmas is more than a historical holiday, the concept of Immanuel – God With Us – more than just a description of the fulfilled hopes of a Jewish nation.

Christmas encapsulates our entire faith in one short story. Christmas is a picture of the manifestation of Christ within us. It happens every day. Like the lowly surroundings of a manger in a stable, unimpressive in the eyes of the world, Christ comes to us where we exhibit the essence of humility and powerlessness, where we are poor in spirit. It is there that we possess the kingdom of heaven. It is then and there that the Messiah arrives.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Like the wonderstruck shepherds, terrified by the glory of God that enveloped them, our contact with Christ upends the world we know, transforms us and changes our fear to joy. We are irreversibly changed.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Like the wise and affluent magi, we find him when we seek him, only to learn that our earthly wealth, influence and perceptions crumble at his feet. He leaves us no choice but to worship him.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

The birth of Jesus was not a one time event. It happens every day, in every heart that yearns to receive him. Every day we make the choice to re-welcome the Christ child.

Every morning we awake to a new beginning. We meet the day with a clean slate; free to determine our attitudes and responses to the world around us; free to forgive and love one another. Every morning we are blessed by the virgin birth of our souls, newly refreshed by the Grace of God.

. . . to be made new in the attitude of your minds, and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness . . .

Our culture celebrates Christmas only once a year. Don’t fall for it. Every day is Christmas in your heart. Jesus is the Christ in Christmas. But he is more than that. He is the Christ in you.

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