At Christmas we come not just to celebrate the birth of Jesus but to meet our Savior. Our Savior came in the form of a little baby born in a manger but never the less – He was our Savior from the very beginning. Did you come prepared tonight? Leave your sins behind you, come to the manger and know that through the baby born this night you are forgiven. Come this night to this time of Holy Communion and feel the presence of Jesus Christ.
The Lord never leaves us but sometimes, when everything is going well we begin to think we are self-reliant and we ignore or simply forget our need for God. Then something happens…We blame God for turning away from us and leaving us to face it alone. We hit rock bottom and we cry out to the Lord. Suddenly we find the Lord is there and has pulled us up from the pit and our mourning is turned to dancing. We once again lift praises and give thanks to the Lord our God. We need to remember as the Psalmist realizes, God is there through it all. Darkness lasts only for the night and morning brings the light. God will turn our mourning into dancing.
“As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.” Luke 1:44 Leapt for joy! When was the last time you or I leapt for joy? Now I’ve been known to do a happy dance – I guess that is close to a leap. This Advent I hope you find it in the presence of Jesus. When you do, when you really begin to be overcome with that joy…don’t hold back…leap for joy…or at least dance, smile, clap and let your inner child explode with excitement of the Savior’s birth!!
Peace is more than the absence of war, it is about healing the heart, right always winning and the kind of love that never ends. I would guess that if asked most of us would wish for this type of peace above anything else. I have to tell you though, this is one Christmas wish that Santa can’t give. So how do we find peace? Finding peace is an individual search that ends when we accept for ourselves the love of Jesus in our hearts. Peace comes when we are right with God through Jesus Christ.
This time of year is filled with people having hope. Kids are hoping Santa will bring them exactly what they want. People are shopping hoping to find just the right present for the special people in their lives. Store owners and manufacturing companies are hoping we will buy their products. Families are hoping to see children, grandchildren, aunts, uncles…extended family that they haven’t seen since last Christmas. These are all ways the world sees hope, is it different for those whose hope is in the Lord?
Advent is a season of anticipation and preparation! We are busy planning, shopping, baking, and wrapping. This Advent we will be pausing from these busy activities and focusing on the Hope, Peace, Joy and Love that are foundational for truly celebrating the reason for the season – the coming of Christ, our Savior!