Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It's About the Cross

Today, a gentle, loving, Christian man passed away. He was a saint if I ever met one. Not too long ago, I had the privilege of working with him and I was shocked to my very core one day to hear this humble servant of God express great disappointment in himself and admitting that his greatest desire was to be a better disciple. This man whom I admired and held in high regard as a true and dedicated follower of Christ was almost in tears as he confessed his feelings of inadequacy in reflecting the glorious nature of his Lord and Savior in his daily living. He was an exemplary model of what it is to live in a committed and loving relationship with God and yet he felt he fell far short of the example he so desired to be. Yesterday he said that he knew he was going to die and that he wasn’t afraid. This man was able to say that because he had given his heart and his life to the Lord and trusted in Christ’s sacrifice to redeem him from his sinfulness. He held firm to his faith that Jesus was born, lived, died on the cross, and rose from the dead so that today, my friend could celebrate Christmas in the presence of the King.

This week, we celebrate the birth of Christ. We will gather with our friends and family and, in grand American tradition, celebrate with much food and gift-giving. In the midst of the holly, jolly merry-making, we will rush and dash and fluster about to get here and there and do this and that. Somewhere in the holiday frenzy, let’s be deliberate about taking time to meditate on, be thankful for, and celebrate what is now so undeniably true to my friend – Christmas is about the cross. Yes, we celebrate the birth of Christ at Christmas, but we must not forget, nor neglect, that Christ was born to die on the cross for our sins. This became abundantly clear to me a couple of years ago when I first heard what is now, and most likely will always be, my favorite Christmas song. And since they sing this truth so much better than I could ever write about it, I’ve included the song (compliments of YouTube) below. Take a few moments now, listen, and remember why it is that Christ’s birth brings us such great joy and hope. May you have a very merry and blessed Christmas.


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