Friday, December 14, 2012

"Light of Jesus Christmas", 5" x 7", colored pencils.

Many times we see images so often, and hear the Christmas story so often each year, that it is good to take a look deeper. That is what is behind this simple work, and the message with it. While the Christ Child and Christmas is rightly cherished indeed, it is a look centrally to Christ and who He is, the greatest gift of all - the name above every name. A look beyond what is often relegated to nice sentiment, nativity cards and yard displays - which have nevertheless become outright controversial in secular arenas today - to the core of the One who is the greatest gift of all. When Jesus Christ stepped into human history, nothing was ever the same again, especially for those who hold Him dear.

As we celebrate Christmas, we rejoice in the meaning of the Christ Child.
We treasure in our hearts Immanuel, with adoration knowing He does not remain forever a child in a manger. For Christ lived among us, ever shines His light as living Lord on us, and gave Himself utterly on the cross for us.
What a wonderful gift. A gift of the highest joy. We rejoice this season for the most glorious and liberating love.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16.

May the comfort and
Grace of God shine on you this Christmas,
Jeffrey M Green

The Highest Love
As we gather with friends and family and celebrate the joys of this season, what is it really all about? Many may be familiar with the Christ Child and know this is somehow a religious aspect of Christmas. But who is this baby Jesus? What does this really have to do with anything?
As Holy God looked upon us in our sin, separated from Him and the joys of knowing His tender care – in His utmost compassion and love for us, God sent His very own Son to us. Jesus, the Son, who being very God and Man, stepped out of Heaven and actually lived in human history in the flesh. In this we see the sublime wonder of truth, not mere religion or Holiday Christmas card sentiments. On Christmas we celebrate the birth of the Christ.
Though God is utterly holy, full of glory and pure righteousness, He is not aloof. He does not look down upon us in disinterest. God not only loved us so much to give the ultimate gift of His Son, this gift is a love beyond anything we could imagine. Many people have been hurt so much in life, that it is hard to understand that God loves us on a very personal level. God cares deeply for you, by name, in your life at this very moment.
Christ came to us, dwelt with us, and lived with us. He hurt with us and wept for us as lost sheep. Jesus gave entirely of Himself by dying and suffering for our sin and separation from God. All of this was placed on Him on the cross. He who was Holy and pure in every way took our sins on Himself - for us, with the greatest love of all. He then conquered sin and death by rising from the dead. By dying for us and raising from the dead this separating chasm of sin was so removed that in Scripture (Ephesians) we read it was literally put to death. This was Christ’s purpose, absolute love. You can not count very many things in modern cynical life as absolute these days, but you can count this love that way.
Yes, this love gift, Jesus, is who we celebrate. We celebrate His virgin birth of Mary. Jesus, Immanuel, God with us, the most gloriously treasured gift of all. We see in the Christmas passages of Scripture in Luke chapter 2, the angels proclaiming this joy, “good tidings of great joy which will be to all people” (Luke 2:10b). This is wonderful joy and a profound message of Salvation. This is what Christmas is all about to those whose hope and trust are in Jesus.
What love! He loves you where you are, personally, this much. God’s love is not in the background to be casually admired, He literally seeks to actively love you. Like any gift, it must be received and opened to know its blessings. That is my wish for you this Christmas.

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