While reading the Bible, I am amazed all over again at Jesus’ life and how much He has in common with us. If I may, I’d like to frame His life on this earth in our modern tongue. As you read through the list, see if anything relates to your life…
* was nearly an illegitimate child when Joseph considered breaking off their engagement
* divorce loomed over their family for a period of time
* born homeless*
* was a stepSon (to Joseph – His stepfather)
* despised since birth
* there was an attempted murder on His young life
* had half bothers and sisters
* part of a blue-collar family
* His family’s status was not highly thought of in the community
* they were poor
* His family moved a few times
* there was sibling rivalry to the point His siblings deemed Him crazy
* His appearance was just average – nothing remarkable to attract attention
* hung out with sketchy people
* tempted to sin in every possible way
* had a difficult time keeping friends
* was a loner (in that He spent many hours secluded and praying to God)
* left His job to go into full-time ministry
* often overheard crying out to God
* was not popular throughout seasons of His life
* knew hunger
* rejected by His community
* lost a loved one
* severely disappointed by His friends
* blamed for crimes He didn’t commit
* endured an unfair trial without proper legal representation
* suffered intolerable acts of violence by a corrupt system
* was refused medical treatment
* as a son, he had to entrust the care of His mother to someone else
* died alone
At Christmastime, people try to buy joy. We party or numb our way to a mirage of peace. We hide behind religious traditions because we can do them on autopilot. We promote myths and legends and belittle Truth. Why?
There are as many different reasons as there are people on this planet. But, dare I say that one reason is that we are running from God. Again, there are as many reasons we run from God as there people, but one huge one is that we have believed the lie that God cannot relate to us, so why try to have a relationship with Him?
Today, it was good for me to read back over Scripture and be reminded once again that Jesus (100% God & 100% man) shed His royal robe to cloak Himself in flesh and live among us. He set down His crown and picked up a hammer as a carpenter’s Son.
He laughed, wept, worked and slept. His family album looks a lot like ours. When Jesus came to earth to save us, He became one of us – yet was without sin.
If this Christmas season you feel your heart wondering what this God thing is all about. If you are curious or desperate. If you have had enough of everything this world offers yet still feel empty. If you can’t find another reason to live. If you feel utterly alone. If you think no one understands your life. Give God a chance to prove He is everything you need. Jesus, our brother, Savior and friend completely understands. He’s been there.
There is a reason why nothing else in the world settles our soul. Calms our spirit. Gives life to our bones. There is only one God and one Christ. Everything else, with all of its empty promises, fails. With Christ there is hope, joy and peace that is not bound by circumstance. It cannot be taken away or denied.
More than twinkle lights, evergreens, shiny bows, inflatable characters and yummy baked goods, my heart drifts back to the babe born in the side of a mountain with no fanfare from the town who forbade Him a delivery room.
He understands who you are and where you’ve been.
Hebrews 4:14-16 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Everything he went through, from birth to death, He did for one reason – love. This Christmas, come to the true source of love that can’t be bought, returned, baked or made – Jesus. The gift of eternal life He offers is the best Christmas present you’ll ever receive.
(*credit to Renee Ratcliffe)