Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Spirit of Christmas

Galatians 4:4 But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.

The Spirit of Christmas

I don't mind telling you that I love Christmas. In fact, I confess great affection for many of the same trappings that fascinated me as a child. I love Christmas music. I ordered some in July and allowed myself to start listening in October! I am listening to Christmas music now as I write! I love Christmas traditions. I am hopelessly sentimental and have passed on family Christmas traditions to my children while adding a few of my own. And yes, I do enjoy giving and receiving Christmas gifts. I've been known to make educated guesses as to what I will receive based on the package's weight and shape. That is why my wife added some large rocks to a box containing a brand new Bailey cowboy hat she had gotten me for Christmas. And I love (I know, that's the fourth time I've used that word) Christmas Eve. "The Night Before Christmas" is poetry and anticipation and the highlight of the month, all in one.
But what about December 26th? I'd almost forgotten that there were any more days in December after the 25th! The day after Christmas is the day of leftovers and let-down, the beginning of gift returns and buyer's regret. But do you suppose it was that way the day after Christ was born? To the few who took notice of God's Gift, do you think there was more joy before or after Christ came? Are we to eagerly anticipate the celebration of Christ's birth, as I always do, only to dread an uncertain future in the coming year? If you fear this present world as hostile to Christ in this New Year, then stop and remember. Herod could not kill Him; the Devil could not side-track Him; and the tomb could not keep Him. "Christ was born to die," but He did so on His own terms.
And have you considered that Christ not only came to die, He came to leave! Christ was not expelled from the planet He co-created, He chose to leave! In fact, He said it was good for Him to leave. Why? It was good because He would be preparing a place for His own. And He would leave a Comforter. His leaving did not mark the end of Christmas; it marked the beginning of a new day, a New Year, if you will.
Galatians 4:4 says, "But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son…." That is Christmas. Verse 6 goes on to say, "And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son…." That is a New Year! God sent His Spirit to comfort, guide, and enable us!
The world may still be hostile to Christ and to those who love Him. In fact, the Lord Jesus said it would be that way. But the Spirit of Christmas is not a feeling; the Spirit of Christmas is a Person. The angel who appeared to Joseph prior to the birth of God the Son told him regarding Mary that the Son, "which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost." The Spirit of Christmas is the Spirit of God! The God Who came in human flesh now indwells the human heart of each one who has trusted in the Christ of Christmas.
So, we not only have joy in the Christmas season celebrating Christ's incarnation, we have hope and confidence in a new year celebrating the enabling of the Spirit of God's Son!

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