Christmas all year long!
By JOEL ESTRUTH
The changes around us remind me that the Bible says there is one who remains the same — Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is at the center of my life, and everything revolves around Him.
We were Christmas shopping last week while in Ohio. The cold snowy weather didn’t hinder people from getting out to find those gifts on their lists. There seems to be a special urgency and focus when you are looking for Christmas gifts.
For a few moments I stepped aside and pondered all the commotion around me while my wife and daughter-in-law were selecting a gift. My thoughts took me back to the beginning of Christmas — the birth of Jesus Christ. There were large crowds of people that night in the city of Bethlehem of Judea. People had to come to pay their taxes and that was why Mary and Joseph were there. When they arrived, you probably remember, there was no vacancy at the inn. They were turned away and the Messiah’s birthplace became a stable.
In the midst of all the commotion the Savior was born and his mother, Mary, laid him in a feeding trough. The world of that day turned Him away — no room — no recognition. While my companions continued to shop, I looked at the busy world around me again. I remembered what the Bible says, He came to His own domain, and His own people did not receive Him.
Some have criticized those people who did not receive Jesus. I wondered if we today are sometimes guiltier than others past of shutting Jesus out of our lives. Those in the past missed being blessed by the awesome redemptive work of God in their world. The Bible gives a pathetic picture of the church of the Laodiceans with Christ outside standing at the door knocking and requesting entrance. Suddenly my companions startled me as they called me. The shopping trip now was moving on to another store.
Now back home in Washington these thoughts return. Christmas is near. The question comes again. Have I shut Jesus Christ out of my life? Many of us do so without realizing it. At this Christmas season I wanted to be sure to encourage you along with me to be certain that we have allowed Christ to occupy the place that rightfully belongs to Him in our lives.
Make room for Jesus Christ in your life this Christmas. Then He will go with you throughout the New Year — He has promised to never leave you, nor forsake you. You will truly have a Merry Christmas. That Merry Christmas will be with you all year long!