As we approach this Christmas season, it is good to remember the hope contained in it. Many false voices have cried “hope and change” but, there is only One who can truly bring hope and change. He is the One we celebrate this Christmas. Our Father in heaven sent Him to us as a gift and he came as a little baby, like we all do. Yet embodied in Him was the hope of the world.
All those who have children will understand the wonderment, joy, and love Mary and Joseph must have felt as they looked at that little face so at peace, even in a stable, yet, they must have also felt the pain of knowing what His purpose was and the things He would suffer for us all.
This article is to all who have children of their own. God says they are His gift to us, our heritage – the unknown mystery of being able to procreate, to bring forth a new life as God did with Adam and Eve.
“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.” – Psalm 127:3,4
Hidden within Christmas is also the mystery of marriage, two completely different souls becoming one to bring forth completeness and joy. God explained it to His prophet Malachi –
“But did He not make them one, having a remnant of the Spirit? and why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth. “For the LORD God of Israel says that He hates divorce, for it covers one’s garment with violence,” says the LORD of hosts.” – Malachi 2:15,16
So, God commands us to train up the children to know Him and His ways that they might also know His manifold blessings in their life.
“Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.” – Prov 22:6
But, sometimes this great joy and privilege we have been given by God also contains some suffering and sorrow, as it did for Mary and Joseph. None of us enjoy this but suffering does have it’s work in us, as it did even in Jesus –
“though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.” – Heb. 5:8
Suffering can take many forms: failures on our part, or on our children’s part, or sickness, or warfare from the enemy of our souls, and even death. In all of it, we need to remember David who also suffered –
“Hear my cry, O God; Attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You,
When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a shelter for me, A strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings.” – Psalm 61:1-4
Though our hearts may be overwhelmed, we have a shelter, One who understands more than we do, who sees the end from the beginning. He sees the victory that is hidden from our eyes and He sees the deliverance we have prayed for even when it is beyond our sight. He is our strong Tower and our shelter.
Christmas is so much more than the world’s commercialism, than giving of gifts, or even celebrating a holiday. It is the prophecy of life and every Christmas we celebrate is a time to remember what it is all about – the true promise of hope and the offer of its fulfillment in each of our lives.
Merry Christmas to you all.