I promised a more substantive post on trade secrets last Thursday (!!), but you know how this time of year is, right? Wrapping paper and bows litter my family room. Christmas tree ornaments are starting to fall and become lopsided from little hands that can’t resist “just one touch.” I can’t get the latest version of “Little Drummer Boy” out of my head. (Pentatonix’s version ROCKS, by the way!). ABC Family’s “25 Days of Christmas” sends me a daily text detailing the holiday delights on tap for the day. I’ve put on five pounds from eating Christmas cookies for my every meal. It's the only time all year I am not a workaholic and I focus entirely on my family.
This is also the time of year when I wear thin the pages in my Bible containing Luke 2. You have likely heard this passage, at least once in your life:
9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
Yep, there it is: I am a Christian. A hard-core, bible thumping, card-carrying Christian. And I am not ashamed.
I don’t tell you this so you’ll congratulate me for my honesty. I don’t tell you this because I think it might generate more hits for this blog (although if you like what you’re reading, tell your friends!). I tell you this because this thing called “Christianity” is what Christmas is all about.
Christianity is not a religion. It is not a philosophy. It is about a person named Jesus Christ and my relationship with Him. And at this time of year, the time when we celebrate His birth, I feel that it is my obligation and my privilege – as one of His followers – to tell you about Him.
My Jesus knows that I yell at my kids. And He loves me anyway. My Jesus knows that I laugh at crude jokes. He celebrates my laughter, then allows the Holy Spirit to bring Ephesians 5:4 to mind: “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.”
My Jesus knows that I drink too much wine sometimes. He knows I do it when I’m stressed out and He gives me comfort when I feel overwhelmed. He knows I gossip, watch trashy reality TV, and don’t read my Bible as often as I should. I am a sinner. My Jesus knows this.
But for every sin – big or small – He finds a multitude of ways to show his love for me. He knows the number of hairs on my head. Luke 12:7. He has a plan for my life. Jeremiah 29:11. And He will give me the tools I need to fulfill that plan (He’s given me many of them already). He knew that I would never find the right husband unless he literally dropped said husband in my lap. He knew that despite all of my consternation about having children, children would keep me grounded and humble and so he gave me two incredible little boys. He knew that I would become a lawyer someday and that this job would give me a platform from which to speak about Him.
In these ways and more, Jesus shows me He loves me. And here’s what He did to prove His love to me: death on a cross. He did it not despite of my sin, but because of my sin. He knew that I could not join Him in Heaven unless He gave this ultimate sacrifice, but He also knew that if He shed his innocent blood, I could enter his kingdom. All I have to do is believe. And believe I do.
I’d like to think that this belief makes me different from some of the other business people and professionals whom you’ve encountered. I’d like to think that this belief is borne out in my actions and my attitude. I’d like to think that this belief gives me strength when others would crumble, patience when others would tantrum, and courage when others would be afraid.
But here’s the thing: I am no different than you. We are all sinners. We all need a Savior.
CHRISTmas is about my Savior. It’s about celebrating His birth and the remarkable gift He gave to us. We live in a dark world. I don’t need to tell you that. But what I do need to tell you is that in such a world, there is hope. There is light. Jesus is “the light of the world. Whoever follows [Him] will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12.
I hope wherever you are, whatever you believe, you find hope and light this Christmas. You know where I find mine. I invite you to do the same.
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