And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17
As the Christmas season is now upon us and we come together with family and friends to celebrate, it can be easy to lose focus on why we as Christians celebrate this day. Maintaining a constant acknowledgment of who God is, what Jesus has done, and how the Holy Spirit has worked and is still working in our lives can be easily lost in the midst of wrapping paper, good food, good drink, and the potentially unresolved family matter that resurfaces each year.
Is Jesus at the center of what we do?
Is Jesus at the center of the words we say?
Is Jesus at the center of the thoughts we think?
Is Jesus at the center of the thanks we give?
Keeping our savior at the center of every thought, action, word, and decision can be difficult in our everyday lives much less at this time of year. If we are not constantly saturated with his word, and acknowledging his presence each day, it can prove to be difficult keeping him at the center of our focus. When we spend a lot of time with someone, anyone, they begin to rub off on us. Now this can be for good or for bad, however Jesus will always be for the best.
I have, for many years now, referred to this as a constant reverence where it concerns my personal walk with Jesus. A constant acknowledgement that He is with me. “The” Jesus, the God man, the messiah, the Christ, the Savior who existed in eternity, past setting his divinity aside, entered into human history, humbly stepping down from exaltation and glory in heaven to become a baby. Yet not staying a baby but instead;
“…Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” Luke 2:52
The man who was, and still is God, the God man who did not come to bring peace but a sword. The God man chose twelve men to pour into the very teachings of God on how to lead with a servants heart by the power of the Holy Spirit within them by loving one another. The same Jesus who;
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:1-5
The Jesus who, although he was the only one ever to live without fault, went to a cross, as he was beaten and cursed and treated like a criminal. The very same Jesus who died on the cross in our place for our sin, the death we deserve to die separated from God due to our failures. But as Christians who bear his name, we have been set apart because of his sacrifice. When the Father looks upon us on that last day in judgement, he will see Jesus and the righteousness he has given to those who not just believe in him, (for even the demons believe in him) but to those who follow him, who have surrendered their lives to him, who belong to him, who constantly acknowledge him.
This is the Jesus we celebrate at Christmas. This is the Jesus we profess to serve as our God and King. As we celebrate a person’s birth, we celebrate their whole life. Jesus is still alive and on his throne ruling and reigning in heaven. From eternity past to eternity future, his power and glory and majesty have no end…and he chooses to know each one of our names. As a loving God, he grieves when we grieve, laughs when we laugh, and has compassion when we weep with Godly sorrow in repentance of sin. He is “Emmanuel”, God with us. Not just with us for a while and then gone again but the God that heard our first cry and will be present for our last breath.
So as we celebrate Christmas this year, let us celebrate the whole life of Jesus, knowing that He is truly present for his birthday, and enjoying our fellowship together with him as the center of not just this day but every day, rejoicing and celebrating His life in fellowship, family, and love.