GATHER AND REJOICE
"They found the baby lying in a manger"
The Christmas season, in spite of the thrill and bustle all about, produces the opposite effect on many
people. They go into seclusion; feeling lonely and depressed. I've been there. I've separated myself from
everyone else because no one invited me to anything. Pretty much they still don't,
but pouting and feeding my despondent tendencies gets me nowhere.
In every way, this is contrary to what Jesus intended.
My reference is to the Lord's prayer. Jesus taught us to pray, but not in a solitary way. He began with "our
Father" (or Parent if you prefer) and continued with "give us this day", and "our daily bread", and "forgive us
our trespasses", and so on. Not singular, but communal, family, friends
– saints praying together in one accord.
Yes, Christmas is full of contradictions if you haven't had the born-again experience, that is – understanding
and believing that the human baby Jesus, born to a young virgin woman, also becomes God incarnate. Upon
becoming redeemed, meeting Jesus and knowing beyond any doubt that He is your Savior, the act of faith
becomes the new reality and the reason for living. No more can you be complacent or neutral.
It suddenly all makes sense.
If your tendency is to hide during Christmas time: rethink it. Jesus did not intend for us to withdraw and be
alone. We celebrate His being born in the most humble of circumstances, and He wants us to gather
together around Him. "Let the children come to Me" Jesus said (Matthew 19:14). Reach out this Christmas,
both for your own well being and to draw others in to the family of Jesus. Because He came to us, our lives
have been changed for all eternity. The Word became flesh, dwelt among us, and gave us a new tomorrow.
This is the time to come together and rejoice with our Savior and with each other.