Bread for Life

By: 
REV. EMERITUS ROBERT L. WEISHOFF

“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)

Are you rushing into Christmas or are you backing into it?

The secular, commercial world is rushing into it. Decorations were up in the stores after Halloween. Great holiday sales started sooner than ever, even before Thanksgiving. What is the true meaning of Christmas? The world tells us it is tradition. All the outward displays of Santa Claus, lights and seasonal, sentimental songs, home and family get-togethers – these things are not bad in themselves, but they do not have the true meaning of Christmas.

Christians and the church back into Christmas. We are always looking back in God’s Word to His promises and prophecies concerning the coming of the Messiah, a Savior.

He came because we are all sinners, from our first parents, Adam and Eve. When we look back, we see it in Psalm 51:5, “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.”

David wrote in another place, “Do not bring your servant into judgment, for no one living is righteous before you.” (Psalm 143:2)

John the Baptist and Jesus’s first message was “Repent, for the remission of your sins.” St. Paul reminds us.

As we look back to all the prophecies, we thank God for all His promises. We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We all – no exemptions – are sinners under judgment. We cannot make ourselves righteous or save ourselves. God came to our rescue.

“For God so loved the world that He sent His one and only begotten Son into the world, whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

God came in person to do this – amazing grace – “… and they will call Him Immanuel, which means God with us.” (Matthew 1:23)

Romans 5:8 tells us, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this, while we were still sinners Christ died for us.”

This is the true meaning of Christmas.

But there is more. As we look back to all the prophecies, we thank God for all His promises. Then we bump into a manger. We now turn and look to see there the Glory of God.

St. John 1 tells us, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.”

Now we hear angels proclaiming to the shepherds, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.”

But we don’t stay at the manger. We don’t put it and the baby away in the closet until next year and go on in life as before. We follow Jesus as He goes about preaching the Good News of the Kingdom of God. We follow Him to the judgment hall where they cry “Crucify Him!” We follow Him to a hill far away, to an old rugged cross. And there He dies. We follow Him to the tomb on Easter morn and it is empty.

Again the angels are there, “Why are you looking for the living among the Dead? He is not here, He is risen.”

Risen indeed. Hallelujah! Now we follow Him to another hill where he ascends into heaven to sit at the right hand of God.

The angels appear again and say, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11)

We now look at promises for our future – our eternal future. All this goes back to the true meaning of Christmas. He is coming again, this time, “They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory: and He will send His angels with a loud trumpet call and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to another.” (Matthew 24:30)

When is He coming again?

“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Matthew 24:36)

We are called only to be alert, be ready, and wait faithfully.

“Come and worship, come and worship, come and worship, Christ the King.”

This is the true meaning of Christmas. May you have a blessed Christmas and every day of the coming year.

 

(All scripture verses from the New International Version.)

Category:

Poll

What is your favorite part of the Fair?