It’s Not “WHAT” You Have, But “WHO” You Have - December 2020

The story of Christmas is a story of humility.  A young, unmarried Jewish girl faced the prospect of being ostracized in her community.  She was pregnant.  Would her betrothed sill consent to marry her?  What would her family say?  What would her friends say?

A census was commanded by Caesar Augustus for the little country.  Each had to return to his ancestral home for the count.  At nine months pregnant, Mary and her betrothed Joseph made the long arduous journey to Bethlehem.  As they entered the little village, they longed for a place to lay their weary bodies.  However, as they sought a room at an inn, there was none available – only a stable.

The entry of Mary’s son into the world did not occur in a mansion with servants in attendance but in a place prepared for cows and donkeys.  Her son did not have a soft feathered bed to greet him but a feeding trough.  But this was not the end of the humiliation - a cross still lay in the future.  Yet in the midst of the darkness there was the good news of light coming to a dark world.

The prophet Isaiah had proclaimed more than seven hundred years earlier: “To us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called ‘Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.’”

Mighty God?  This carpenter from an obscure village in Galilee?  This man with no earthly possessions?  Who would believe it?  Yet many have, and do, and will continue to believe in the One born and placed in a manger.  As the Bible states of Him: “...who though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form He humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.  Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

This is the story of Christmas: God the Son (Jesus) coming down to earth as a little baby and taking on himself the sins of the world.  Your sins and my sins.  God Himself became a nobody so that we can all become somebodies.  I hope you remember these things as we celebrate the reason for the season.

Our prayer is that through this year of difficulties and challenges, of isolation and restrictions, that you have come to understand it is not about “WHAT” you have in your life.  Rather it is about “WHO” you have in your life.  This is the Christmas Message.

We pray that your loved ones will mean so much to you this Christmas, but even more than that, Jesus will have become the essential relationship in your life, and that relationship will be valued by you for Eternity.  May you all have a VERY BLESSED and MEANINGFUL CHRISTMAS with much LOVE from all @ ENCOURAGE CHURCH.