“To rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve Him without fear in holiness and righteousness before Him all our days.” - Luke 1:74-75
Christmas is without a doubt one of the busiest times of the year. There are parties, family get-togethers, service projects, shopping, wrapping, decorating, cooking, entertaining, and cards and packages to mail. Many families add travel to this list as well. All of this hustle and bustle can leave us feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.
This passage in Luke is a great reminder of what this season is all about. Several years ago, the phrase, “Jesus is the reason for the season” became popular. And while that’s easy to say, it is not so easy to live out with so many obligations and distractions. While none of these are bad things – in fact many are good – we must guard against letting the days pass by without living out the Christmas message.
Christ Jesus came to rescue us, and also so that we would be able to serve Him each and every day of our lives. It is interesting that the Scripture says we can serve Him, “Without fear in holiness and righteousness.” Until Christ came, the people of God lived in fear of Him. They understood His righteous standard, and they knew they did not meet that standard of holiness. Only the high priest served God in the Temple. The people were slaves to the law but did not enjoy a personal relationship with God.
Since we could not go to God, He came to us through His Son. That is what incarnation means. That is the miracle of Christmas. He became like us so that we could become like Him through faith, and thus enjoy fellowship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
So, during this last week before Christmas as you finish up shopping and wrapping gifts, preparing meals, and traveling to see family and friends, remember why Christ came to us. He lived to rescue us, to redeem us, to draw us near to the Father, and to show us the love of the Father. That is why we celebrate and give. Let us not forget that the gift people need most cannot be found in a department store or catalog. The shepherds found Him in a manger, wrapped up not in expensive décor but swaddling clothes. The thief found Him nailed to the cross, bloody and bruised, mocked and scorned. Where can the lost find Him now? He lives in and through His people…you and I…we are His hands and feet. We are His messengers. We are His ambassadors.
Heavenly Father, I know it is only because of Your grace that I can serve You. Thank You for sending Jesus to redeem my life for Your glory. Please show me today how I can be a messenger of the Gospel in both word and deed. Thank You for choosing to use me. In Christ’s name, amen.