The Heart of ChristmasThe Christmas decorations are up in our house as the radio plays Christmas music as they try to revive a festive time. As we grasp at the bightness and glory of the holiday season despite the economic gloom and doom and the recent hurricane. Reports say that shoppers are planning to spend more in these weeks before Christmas than they did last year at this time. Have people really lost the reason for the season? I mean people love the carols, the tradition, the goodwill and the good feelings we get from even just thinking about Santa Claus and the elves, the tree and the lights! But many have forgotten the crib and the Baby Jesus Christ, because without Christ there would be no Christmas. Christ must be at the heart of Christmas!
We have made Christmas a far-too comfortable story, with images of a sweet baby Jesus, surrounded by adoring, cute little animals and being visited by kings bringing presents. In reality, though, Christmas is never a comfortable story in the Gospels. Christmas is a story about poverty and about people who are homeless and rejected and who find no place to stay. It is about a young pregnant mother seeking a place to stay as she is due to have her child. It is a messy story about a newborn child surrounded by filthty animals and after being born placed in the animals feeding trough. It is a story of shepherds the outcasts of society that a angel appeared to as they worked though the night. As they stayed out all night in the winter cold, watching over their flocks for wolves and thieves that would steal their sheep. It is a story of political deceit and corruption that lead to a cruel dictator stooping to murder, the murder of innocent children just like abortion. But those images do not sell Christmas cards or help to get the bring in Christmas crowds to the stores.
That is why in the weeks leading up to Christmas we need be reminded of what the coming of Christ into the world means, what the Kingdom of God is like, how we should prepare for the coming of Christ and the coming of the Kingdom of God.
But when Christ comes again it will not be as a cute cuddly babe wrapped away in the manger in the window of a large department store. No, He will be coming as the King of kings and Lord of lords! The Gospel tells of Christ coming in glory as the Son of Man, as the King, and as Lord. What will the second coming of Christ be like, and what would Christ have to say to us about the way we live and the world we live in today.
Which people on earth, at this very moment, would like to be judged by God for their eternal judgment? How enlightened are they to be compared with the Kingdom of God when it comes to how they treat and look after those that Christ identifies with. As in those who are hungry; those who are thirsty; those who are strangers and find no welcome; those who are naked, bare of anything to call their own! What if it also read those whose naked bodies are exploited for profit and pleasure or a pregnant mother seeking help as she tries to reject the lies of the enemy as it yells at her to choose abortion for unborn child! Remember as it states, as we did it for one of these we did to Christ Himself.
In his second coming, Christ tells us the kind of conduct, of morality, towards others that is expected of us as Christians. But he also tells us of the consequences of not caring for others. As we prepare for Christmas, we can look forward to seeing the Christ child in the crib and to singing about Him in the carols. But we can also look forward to seeing Him in glory. Let us be prepared to see Him and welcome in the hungry, the thirsty, the unwelcome stranger, those who are naked and vulnerable, those who are prisoners, those who have no visitors and those who are lonely, the pregnant single mom who works a few hours a week just to provide for her children. Just ask the Lord to guide your life and He will arrange divine meetings that will bless your heart, for this is truly how you have a Merry Christmas! Amen
By: Eddie DeHart