The signs that Christmas is coming soon are all around us now. Christmas music follows us everywhere we go, decorations line the streets and cover homes and lawns, people are scurrying around in stores agonizing over what gifts to buy, and the mail carrier is getting later every day as the volume of Christmas mail grows more abundant. You may find yourself groaning, celebrating, trying to ignore it all, or becoming depressed.
Sometimes I’m not sure what to feel, and so I just wait, ignoring all the Christmas activity for awhile. I hate getting caught up in the frenzy, some of it rather meaningless or just time-consuming. Depending on the year my initial response to the Christmas activity ranges from being simply annoyed to slightly depressed.
But sooner or later the Christ of Christmas breaks through my grinch-like attitude as He reminds me Who He is and why He came.
Isaiah gave a glimpse of Who this Messiah would be when he wrote, “For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on His shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6 HCSB)
It was more than a prophecy about the birth of the Messiah. It was a promise of Who this Child named Jesus would be for those who believe in Him for milleniums to come, which includes us. He is our wonderful Counselor, our all-powerful God, our Father forever, and the Prince who brings peace in every situation. He can give us the wisdom and insight we need for perplexing and complex situations. He is sovereign as God over our lives, determining the outcome regardless of our poor choices. He is a Father we can completely rely and lean on. And He gives us peace that is beyond our understanding to fill our hearts no matter what storm is going on in our lives.
Whether struggling to deal with life alone, conflicts with others, difficulties at work, or the complexities of church life, we can turn to Him to be all these things for us. To me the most wonderful part is that He’s available when no one else is: in the middle of the night, in the midst of a difficult conversation and at our wit’s end, and when it seems no one fully understands.
But that’s not all. Because Jesus came and died for us making us God’s children, we have an eternal inheritance.
“When the time came to completion, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba, Father!’ So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” (Galatians 4:4-7 HCSB)
Jesus left the warmth of His Father’s Home to come to earth to experience all that we do: physical needs and discomforts, human desires and disappointments, rejection from others, and disloyalty from those closest to Him. He did this so we could also become children of His Father and eventually join Him in the warmth and joy of His Father’s House in heaven. There we will receive our ultimate inheritance with Jesus.
But for now we can experience part of it, which includes full access at any time to our Heavenly Father and to His Son, Who is our Wonderful Counselor, our Mighty God, our Eternal Father, and our Prince of Peace. We don’t have to feel like the Grinch at Christmas simply because of our circumstances. No matter what they are, or even if we spend Christmas alone, He is all these things to us.
Do you find Him to be these things to you? Is it easier or more difficult to experience them during the Christmas season?