I wasn’t feeling very adventful yesterday, that is my confession. I can’t tell you why, exactly. I just was not feeling what we refer to as the “Christmas spirit.” Then two things happened to lift my spirits and refocus my attention. The first was an unexpected delivery to my door. As I had not ordered anything, the element of surprise brightened my day immediately. It turned out to be a Christmas gift from my oldest daughter and son in law and it was the perfect gift for me – ice cream! (my favorite food group)
Nothing says fun like multiple flavors of gourmet ice cream. Then I went with friends to the movies and saw, “Christmas with The Chosen” – the story of the first Christmas. I have watched the first season of “The Chosen” on DVD and am looking forward to watching season two soon. So this special Christmas movie of The Chosen is an unexpected bonus. It is a bonus that does not disappoint.
Both the music and the message of this movie ministered to my spirit. I left renewed and refocused on the reason for this season. The message from the manger is a powerful one – Christ came for us. We are chosen, you and I, and all who will believe in the miracle of Immanuel – God with us. This was Good News then, it is still Good News today. Jesus came for the poor, the marginalized, the neglected, the rejected, the overlooked, the undervalued, the despised, the outcast, the prisoner, the oppressed, the broken, the hurting, the struggling, the seeking, the lost among us. Jesus came for me. Jesus came for you. He came to redeem each one of us for Himself.
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” (Jeremiah 31:3)
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” (Isaiah 61:1-3)
Jesus was clear about His purpose in coming here. In Luke 19:10 He said,
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”
That’s me, lost and needing to be saved, mourning and needing comfort, brokenhearted and needing to be healed, a captive longing to be set free. Jesus came for this very purpose. You and I can know that we are chosen! We are called and we are carried. We are known and we are named by our Creator. We are pursued and we are prized by the God of all the universe.
“For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead. Since you are precious and honored in My sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life.” (Isaiah 43:3-4)
And that’s just what God did. He gave His only Son, Jesus, in exchange for my life and for your life, too, dear readers.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
That’s the Good News of Christmas – God gave us a Savior in the person of His Son, Jesus. Advent reminds me never to take this gift for granted but instead to remember at what great cost Jesus came here to rescue me and you. And make no mistake, the cost was very great.
” . . . Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:5-8)
Such an expensive gift, my Heavenly Father freely gives to me. I must make room to receive this gift and to welcome in the Giver of the gift, Himself.
“Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is He, this King of glory? The Lord Almighty – He is the King of glory.” (Psalm 24:7-10)
sincerely, Grace Day