Sometimes I am amazed at the crazy things that are trapped in my mind. I heard a Christmas song on the radio by the Partridge family (If you don't know who they are, ask your parents) and I was able to remember a couple lines from the Partridge Family Christmas Special. remember, the setting was a town in the wild west and David Cassidy played the sheriff and instead of a gun, he would carry a guitar and spontaneously sing things like “He's bluffing with a pair of sevens”. Besides my brother, I don't know if anyone one else would remember that.
I often find myself quoting sitcoms or cartoons that I watched in the past. One Flintstone's episode where Fred ended up looking the same as the business tycoon J.L. Gotrocks (of course!) I think he also looked exactly like a prince in another episode (good plot lines are hard to find). But I digress! Fred was told that he could look like a business mogul if he said three phrases, “Who's baby is that?”, “What's your angle?” and “I'll buy that!” Now, you are probably asking yourself what does this have to do with anything? Is John just flaunting his vast expanse of useless knowledge? Well maybe, but the “angle” question often pops in my mind. As a Pastor one of the struggles that you often have, is coming at familiar passages of scripture, like the Christmas story, from a new or different angle to keep it fresh. But every once and a while, you need to get back to the basics. To get back to the heart of the Christmas Story. It is a very simple but profound message. John summed it up well in probably the most memorized scripture in the Bible, John 3:16.The Message is simple and so profound;
God Loved: It all begins with God. God loves us and he desires for us to be in a relationship with him. Sin separates us from God, and His love desires to bridge that gap.
God Gave: His love is not a far off and distant thing. It is practical and pragmatic. He could not sit by idly and watch. He came up with a strategy and a plan. To a people who were selfish, undeserving and lost in their sin, he poured out his grace. He gave.
The Best Gift: God gave His most precious gift, His one and only Son. It is the gift that the Apostle Paul would attempt to sum up its magnitude and scope, and the only adjective that he found to be sufficient was “Indescribable” (2 Corinthians 9:6).
That must be received: Giving is a two-way process. The gift is given and the gift is received. To receive this free gift, scripture tells us that we must believe. John had expressed this thought earlier in when he said, “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12.
Keeps on Giving: God loved and gave the best gift, and if we receive we will possess everlasting life. A gift that keeps on giving because it is both daily and for forever. It is a life that is both eternal (Romans 6:23) and abundant (John 10:10).
The profound and simple message of Christmas. God loved us so much, that he sent his only son Jesus to be born in humble circumstances in a manger. He would live and die for us and our sins and be raised to new life. We only need to open our hearts and receive Him.
My prayer for you this Christmas season is Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy.”
Blessings in Christ,