- No Christmas... No Grace - It's easy to get caught up in the presents, the tree, the lights, the food, the family... all good things, but they are not the most important thing. We celebrate Christmas because Christmas is the birth of Jesus. Without the birth of Jesus, then God's grace would not have been revealed to us. God chose to show us His grace through Jesus! I like the way Tony Merida describes God's grace, "The grace of God refers to His unmerited favor, His goodness and kindness, His compassion and mercy demonstrated to undeserving sinners." That's grace... God's undeserved favor towards me a sinner! God's grace showed up in the form of a baby named Jesus to bring salvation to all people! Jesus was born to show me grace. So simply put... No Jesus, no grace.
- No Christmas... No Hope - God reminded me that God's grace is also accompanied by His glory! As I live in the world today, I am continually reminded that this earth is not my home and this world is not where I will spend eternity. However, right now I am called to wait. I am waiting for "that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed." Titus 2:11-14 shows us two appearances... the appearance of God's grace through the birth of Jesus and we wait for the appearance of God's glory when He will come and establish His kingdom here on earth. Both appearances speak of one person: Jesus. Without Christmas, there would be no Jesus and ultimately no hope for the future that God has for me. With a constant gaze and the experience of grace, our eyes are fixed heavenward with one and only one hope: His coming!*
So this Christmas I choose to celebrate Jesus... not my family, not what's under the tree or in a stocking hung by the chimney with care... I choose to celebrate the grace that has been given to me by God who came in the form of a baby to endure a cross for my sin. I choose to celebrate the fact that Jesus took away the penalty, the power and will ultimately take away the presence of sin in my life. That is Christmas and I am so thankful God reminded me of that this morning.
* Platt, David, Daniel L. Akin, and Tony Merida. Exalting Jesus in 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus. Nashville, TN: B & H Academic, 2013. 281. Print.