The Hope of the Season

winter-2957821__480When someone is good to you, you want to share it with others.  When they are kind, patient, understanding and self-sacrificing on your behalf, you want to give back somehow.  When someone has extended mercy and forgiveness to you and has pursued you even though you felt you were not worth pursuing, you want to express thanks.  And my way of thanking God is to tell others about Him.  To share with others that He is good, patient, forgiving, humble, and a seeker after them.  When Jesus left this earth to go back to His Father, He told his disciples to tell others about Him.  To let others know that they could come to Him if they wanted to have a life with He and the Father.  Both here and now, and forever.  When I think about Christmas, I think of all of the fun things that our culture does to celebrate the season – the lights, the Christmas trees, the gift giving, but there’s this quiet voice in my heart that keeps reminding me that Jesus was the greatest gift ever given, and that Christmas is about Him being all we need when entering a relationship with God.  We don’t need to make special sacrifices (Jesus did that), we don’t need to put on special garments (Jesus is that), and we don’t need to be perfect (Jesus was that).  All we need to do is invite Jesus into our hearts and lives.  I was lost before He became a part of my life.  I was searching, but I didn’t realize I was searching.  And even though I wasn’t looking in His direction, He gently knocked on the door of my heart and drew me to Him.  There is nothing I can do to repay God for what He has done, but I can tell others that God is hope, and He can fill your heart with it.  That’s not to say that life will be perfect, Jesus told us that life would not be without struggles, but He will never abandon us in those struggles.  It is a Merry Christmas, and it’s all because of Jesus.

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” – Luke 2:8-14

Jairus, the Woman, and the Crowd

religious-2144550__480In the Bible there’s a story about a synagogue leader (Jairus) who seeks Jesus out to ask Him if He will accompany him to his home and heal his daughter who is dying.  On the way to Jairus’ house, a messenger arrives to tell them that his daughter has died.  Jesus tells Jairus not to be afraid, to have faith, and that his daughter would be healed.  At the same time, a woman who had been suffering with “constant bleeding” for over a decade approached Jesus and touched the edge of His robe in the hopes that her health would be restored.  Her bleeding stopped immediately.  When Jesus arrived at Jairus’ home, he found a crowd that had gathered and was beginning to mourn the young girl’s death.  Jesus told them to stop weeping, that she wasn’t dead, and that she would be healed.  The crowd laughed.  Jesus took the girl’s hand, told her to get up, and she did.  Jairus and the woman approached Jesus with humility and childlike trust, whereas the crowd laughed at Jesus’ declaration that the girl would be well again.  I am assuming that some in the crowd must have had a change of heart after they saw Jesus’ miracle, but were there others in the crowd who didn’t?  If so, they missed out on a relationship with not only the One Who loves them most in this world, but in experiencing first hand, Immanuel, “God With Us.”

“Then Jesus took her by the hand and said in a loud voice, “My Child, get up!”  And at that moment her life returned, and she immediately stood up!” – Luke 8:54-55