There are a lot of reasons to be excited about the Christmas season: good food, family visits, hot cider, the smell of a fresh cut tree, gift giving and lots of cookies. I enjoy all of those every year. They are not however the primary reason I am excited about the Christmas season. I am excited about Christmas each year because of the time I was rescued.
Long before Jesus was born – way back in the Garden of Eden – Adam and Eve were having lunch. Lunch from a tree they weren’t supposed to eat from. They sinned – they disobeyed their Heavenly Father’s will. Because of that sin the world began to change and decay; before they sinned there was no illness, no sadness, no stubbed toes or broken hearts. After they sinned the good and perfect world began to unravel and all the pain and suffering and death we know so well came about. Yet God, even while Adam and Eve sinned, was working out a rescue plan for the restoration of the world.
The rescue plan would make all the sad things, the broken hearts, the sickness, sin and death come undone – and would replace those things with a deep joy, an everlasting hope and a love that bubbles up from the source. How would God rescue the world? Through a baby boy, born in a manger, to a unwed teen girl and her future husband. The prophet Isaiah says in chapter 9: “The people who walked in darkness (meaning in sin and sadness, apart from God’s will) have seen a great light – (meaning Jesus the rescuer, the light of the world). He continues saying that this Jesus is the Wonderful Counselor – the one who gives us wisdom and guidance for a life lived to it’s fullness. Jesus is the Mighty God, and Everlasting Father – the one who created the world, saw our sins and still loved us just as a father loves a child who errs. He enacted a Mighty rescue plan that would cost Him greatly. Jesus is the Prince of Peace – the one who brings peace to our souls when we know that it is He alone that rescues us from our sin and sadness and gives us peace, forgiveness and a love that is never ending.
I am a pastor, but I’m a person who sins too. I need Jesus in my life to help keep me from sin, and also to forgive me when I struggle and fail. I am excited every year about Christmas because it is the time of year I celebrate that God was born as a baby and the great rescue began. He didn’t stay a baby, but He grew up and willingly died on the cross for my sins – Jesus rescued me – paying the penalty for my sins. How could I not celebrate that?! This Christmas season – if you need rescue from sin and sadness and death – will you turn to Jesus, your Great Rescuer? Will you let Him fill you up with His forever happiness? If you do the Christmas season will not be limited to gifts and cookies – but will be made full in your heart and soul. Rejoice in rescue this Christmas – and celebrate Jesus yearlong!