Yesterday, my blog focused on the special memories of Christmas that warm our hearts and bring a smile to our faces. However, there is another side of Christmas, actually, another side of life. For all our Dickens type memories, you can’t forget about Tiny Tim.
There are so many people who are hurting and hopeless during this blessed season…
I would be half-hearted, today, if I failed to acknowledge the other story, actually the majority of the world, walking parallel to ours on the very same December 1. Planted firmly all around us are those standing in the shadows; cold, hungry, poor, forgotten, wounded and broken … those alone and hopeless. For these children young and grown it is quite another picture — not nearly as bright and colorful. Theirs, instead, is rather gray and bleak. What must that be like?
My brother-in-law is in India for the entire month of December and the first part of January preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to thousands of lost souls as I write. The things he is seeing and experiencing are absolutely foreign to us. Regardless of what we see everyday, it doesn’t change the fact that most of our world is hungry and hopeless. The truth is, we, too, are all actually hopeless and lost without Jesus. Why don’t we feel the need to do more than feed and clothe the poor? Why do we stop short of giving them the only thing that can really change their lives? I for one am convicted beyond measure at my effort — what has happened to us as Christians? Why do so many stop short?
For all the warm clothes, coats, blankets, toys and shoeboxes given in December by those who do care, it still doesn’t go far enough to change the circumstances of their lives. Their hope, instead, is for true life … a life that matters more than this one … a reason for this existence. Their only true hope comes from the person who not only handed them a coat and a meal, but who also shared with them the bread of life and the living water so they will never hunger and thirst again. We must be the ones telling them of the one man who loved them, who has the power to change their life and give them a brand new life.
Who is this man? Who knows the reason for this life? I do. His name is Jesus … God’s son. He is the one who loved us enough to leave the comfort of heaven and become a man. He came first as a tiny baby, all human and yet, all God. He came in a quiet humble way — born of a virgin in a stinky animal stable. He was wrapped in swaddling clothes — similar to the ones He would be wrapped in when He was buried. He was born so He could die. He died for our sin … but not just any death but the worst kind of death imaginable … death on a cross and in that death took on the sin of the whole world. Here is the good news for us: He didn’t stay dead but three days later he shed those swaddling grave clothes and rose from the dead. He was, is and forever will be God. Why would he do that? He did this because of his great love for us so that if we repent, believe and trust Him with our lives, He promises that He will save us and make us whole again. We will live with Him in perfect peace forever when He returns to take us home. We will walk down streets of gold where we are live with Jesus worshipping our Lord and Savior for all eternity.
Now that is the best December, the best news, anyone could ever hope for.