Friday, December 20, 2013

Merry Christmas, from Jeffrey M Green, Artist

Dear friends,

Christmas time, especially the harried days leading up to it, can be quite stressful. All the rushing around can have us worn out. When things become this hectic, in order to fully appreciate the beauty of Christmas, we need to make an active effort to pause from this and reflect.

Christmas is a time for celebration and joy:

Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-11.
When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy’. Mathew 2:10.

Did you know that another word for “good tidings” or “good news” is “gospel”? After all the darkness and pain of life, a Savior is given. This is good news today as well! We really can know that in our own lives, in our griefs, inner pain, and trials, that God is not aloof. The idea of God as distant and cold is a sad misconception that keeps us from His love. It is one that originates in our own cynical hearts, for it is truly not Him. He loves us so deeply that He gave of His very own Son. He loves us so much He went to incredible lengths to reach out to us.
There has been a saying among the church that has been around for years, “Jesus is the Reason for the Season”. A local woman has made cards that read “Jesus is the Reason for Every Season”. How apt that is! God waits for us to come to an end of ourselves, to finally come to see how desperately we really need Him. Not as an occasional wish or addition to our lives, but as our lives entire. Not to blame for all our problems, for He is the hope and solution to them. So many questions today, so many arguments! All to keep the loving arms of God away, when we really need those glad tidings. Christmas is the joyful declaration of His offered gift of love.
The modern mind fails to grasp the utter holiness of God, thus missing the contrasted deep love He offers in a Savior, and the need we truly have, being sinful creatures before that Holiness. That an awesome Holy God of unapproachable light would bring us tenderly near to Him, in His Son, is a wonderful joy. What love! Love that is new everyday. Love that carries through trials of the deepest suffering, which renews again like a morning of beauty.
Do you long for God to love you? Do you have that deep emptiness that tells you there must be more to life than just existing? That can be painful to feel; but that empty feeling is there no matter what we do to distract our lives because only God can really fill it. Why do you think God would go to such great lengths, to send His Son to be born on this earth, suffer, and die? He seriously loves you that much. This love is my hope and prayer for you this Christmas!
Many suffer from sadness and melancholy during this season - I tend to struggle with that myself at times. It can wear us down and become a weight on our shoulders. We feel God is far away, does He really care that much about me personally? The glad tidings are yes. He loves us, He loves us indeed. He loves you now, He will love you tomorrow. Do we 

Jeffrey M Green

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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.