This is the first Christmas season that I have not had a immediate family member present other than my wife and grown son; and now a child from another state with no safe place to live. God has blessed my wife and I with the ability to become Guardians of this child.
I am from a family of six. I am the eldest son and for the first time I stand alone on this planet this Christmas as the last representative - Mom, Dad and three brothers have passed the threshold of this life into the eternal. I have good memories of Christmas as a small child. Although our presents were not extravagant because of my father's income (he was a minister), Christmas was always a special time of year.
I remember as a child us four boys being given memory verses to memorize and recite in the Christmas plays in Dad's churches. The atmosphere of those days gone by still linger during this special season. I still have some of the ceramic angel's my brother's and I made during those Christmas season's of old.
I am reminded quite often of what a dear minister said many years ago that " life on this earth is just a dressing room for eternity" the main play has not even begun! If we can keep an eternal frame of mind the heartache of the present world is not as difficult to endure.
I was recently reading the prophecies that were given regarding the birth of Jesus. Mary was full of gladness, the Holy Spirit, and great hope of her Son Jesus. In His short life He ended up on a cruel cross with the sins of the world laid upon His back. How broken hearted Mary must have been! I consider the visit she had with John the Baptist' mother just a few short years earlier when they were both with child. The day of the cross must have made those days seem like an eternity ago to Mary. Consider the baby John the Baptist leaping in his mother's womb when Jesus' mother came into her home when these two Jewish girls were with child! What an end for the both of them.
What must have been seen as great hope! What great promise! What honor that was bestowed upon these two innocent ladies to carry in their womb and give birth to two of the greatest men who ever walked the earth. Both suffered greatly in the unending and uncompromising calls to repentance of their sons. John the Baptist lost his head; Christ ended up on the cross. I wonder if the two mother's would have given birth if they had known this was going to happen?
But look at the end result of their actions! Because of these two men the course of the entire planet was changed for all time. Satan, the great adversary of all that is good used everything within his power to stop the message. He failed miserably!
Also, what we do has great effect on both the spiritual and the physical world. Our prayers continually ascend to the heavens to be recorded for all eternity. We are born with eternity in our hearts. From our first heartbeat we are destined to spend forever and ever with Christ our Bridegroom, or the region of despair and torment without Him.
I have the first Bible my father gave me as a child. He wrote on the first page that "The experiences of life will either make you bitter or better..." I choose better as I remember that God says He knew us before the foundations of the earth were laid. He saw each of us form in our mother's womb. We must continue to have great hope that such a God, our King of King's and the LORD of LORD'S has always been, is right now, and will always have our welfare in mind. He says He has carved us onto His hand and He will never leave or forsake us.
This Christmas season I am developing a deeper and more intimate understanding of the concept of being a remnant. I now identify with this word on a first hand basis. But I can say without evasion or mental gymnastics; Jesus is truly a Friend that sticks closer than a brother. I have a Father in the Heaven of Heavens who is not that distant at all. Christ said He is with us always; not someday, but right now.
As we face 2011 let us never forget that the desire of Christ's heart according to John 17 is that we be One with Him and the Father. His prayers are always answered!!
Have a great 2011 thinking on Him; the small baby with no place to sleep but in a manger, the One who gave His all on our behalf, the Father in heaven who loves us so much that He gave of Himself for our salvation. Christ Jesus, the soon coming King of Israel who will renew, restore and reinvigorate planet earth!