Journey to Faith

Journey to Faith
Follow your own path

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Greatest Gift of All

Think back for a moment on the greatest gift you have ever received. How did it feel when you saw it? Did it make you want to jump for joy? Did you feel like someone loved you a whole lot?
Yes, that's how a great gift makes you feel - like you want to share it with the world.
Now imagine the manger scene and the announcement of the birth of the Messiah.

Picture the awe of the shepherds as they watched the angels singing in the skies proclaiming the good news. Feel the anticipation of the wise men who traveled such a great distance to bring their gifts to a newborn child they weren’t sure they would even find. Sense the joy and wonder Mary and Joseph felt as they watched in awe as the angelic and kingly visitors encamped around them.

Something truly miraculous was happening.  The people of Israel had not heard from God for over 400 years and then the news of Jesus burst upon the scene and the destiny of mankind was changed for eternity. Hope was born. Peace showed up and love was given to all.

As we celebrate the fourth week of Advent, let us focus on the gift of Love. True love shows itself in action, in giving. It is in giving of ourselves to one another we show love. A smile, a phone call, a thoughtful gift; these are simple ways we show we care enough to take time out of our busyness to connect. When we are just as concerned about another’s well-being and happiness as we are our own and take action towards that end, this is love.  

The greatest expression of love we could ever be given is God's gift to us - His one and only Son, Jesus, the Christ. Jesus loves us so much that he died a sinner's death on the cross so that we could have fellowship with the Father, live in eternity, and have resurrection power to be victorious over our circumstances today.  As the shepherds and the wise men stopped what they were doing to behold the miracle before them, so too, let us pause and reflect the miracle of Christ's birth and what it means to us today.

Jesus loves us so much that He left his royal place in Heaven to come down to earth to show us how to love, how to live and how to forgive. Each Christmas, we remember the most precious gifts of all are these: hope, peace, joy and love. This is truly something to celebrate and to proclaim. My heart overflows when I think about how much God loves me and it is out of the overflow of our hearts that we are able to give to others. 
The gifts of Jesus don't get old and tossed away like used toys. His words are life-giving and eternal. We all know words are powerful, but there is power like none other in Jesus's words. When we are feeling lonely, Jesus promises he will never leave us nor forsake us. If we are hurting, he heals our wounds and our hearts. When we are afraid of what the future holds, we can rest in the knowledge that He has a future so much brighter than anything we could imagine, if only we believe. 
Who do you know who is hurting, lonely, or perhaps joyless this season? Who needs to be forgiven? Loved? Cared for? Will you be Jesus to someone this Christmas? When we do unto the least of these we do unto God (Matt 25:40).
This Christmas may the wonder of the love of God fill you to overflow.  May you understand how high, how wide, how long and how deep is the love of God for you (Eph 3:18) and may you share that love with those around you who need it most.

Merry Christmas and glory to God in the highest.

Until next time, keep looking up!

Ariel