It was just Thanksgiving and now we are only a week away from Christmas. The holidays are a traditional time of family, friends and food.
What is it about this season of the year? I guess you could say that food and friends go together naturally.
One day the kids were told to bring an item to show and tell at school. The first little girl got up to show a beautiful picture she had painted; she said that everyone in her family was very artistic. Next a little boy got up to show his model airplane. He explained that his father’s hobby was building and flying model planes. The last little boy got up and was holding a casserole. The teacher was surprised and asked why he chose a casserole? Well, we are Baptist and everyone knows that we love to eat.
We would all agree that when a friend invites you over it is special. Imagine coming over to a friend’s house for a dinner this Christmas season, as many of you will. A lot of work has gone into the meal and all the aspects of your visit.
What an evening:
-wonderful conversation as you enjoy the sights and sounds of Christmas
-appetizers with something to drink that continue the great time of fellowship
-the meal is ready to be served and everyone takes his or her place around the table
-that salad just looks marvelous and the settings are perfect
-the conversation gets around to what everyone is doing for the rest of the holiday
-now its time for the main course, turkey and ham, dressing and potatoes, cranberry sauce and rolls
-things are great, it seems like life couldn’t get any better and then
-you guessed it, dessert, here it comes
-pecan pie, red velvet cake, cookies and every other dessert imaginable
What a meal, what a marvelous time! Now this is what Christmas is all about. The evening has been great but it’s now time to leave. As you make your way to the front door, you pause and you reach into your wallet and get some money out, “How much do we owe you?”
WHAT AN INSULT!
You would probably say right now you would never do something like that because you don’t do that to someone who has so graciously opened their home to you and given you a meal.
You know it is so funny and strange that there are people in this world who think they have to pay God back? They seem to think that God will smile on them if they work real hard. Paul told the Christians in Ephesus in Ephesians 2:8-9
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
As we are now in the midst of the Christmas season, this story sounds so familiar. An invitation to enjoy time and fellowship with someone and it costs you nothing. That is exactly what happened when God sent His Son as a baby in a manger.
It was grace that caused God to send His Son. It was truly God's riches at Christ expense.
As we celebrate this wonderful season of the year we sense and experience the true meaning of Christmas. As the prophet reminds us in Isaiah 9:6
For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
As you join with your family and friends in the wonderful season of Christmas, take care in acknowledging that Jesus is the reason for the season. Give Him all the praise and the honor due Him.
Merry Christmas to you and your family from ours.
In God's Grace,