This morning I am reminded of Ecclesiastes 3. In this well known scripture, Solomon compares numerous contrasting circumstances to point out that there is a time for them all.
As I consider the wisdom that Solomon imparts in this passage, I find myself considering the season we are in and have concluded that this is a season for rejoicing and yet it is also a season for mourning.
Across the world people prepare to celebrate Christmas. For me, this is a joyous time of year. While I am well aware that Jesus was not born on December 25th, it is not so much about the accuracy of the day as it is remembering.
“Remembering what?” you might ask. I remember the sacrifice that was made. Yes, the sacrifice.
Consider these things:
He traded eternal light to be born into the darkness of night.
He traded the majesty of a throne for the humility of a food trough for animals.
He traded a kingdom where He ruled for one ruled by foreign invaders.
He traded limitless riches and glory for the struggle of the human condition.
He traded His life in a place filled with endless joy to come to a world filled with sorrows.
Jesus’ sacrifice did not begin on the cross. No, it began when the one who was already fully God consented to become fully man as well. It began when he laid down all the glory of the universe in exchange for humility of the manger.
We are redeemed because of the work completed on the cross but that plan was manifest when Jesus was born into the human condition.
This is what I celebrate. If there is any question in anyone’s mind as to the love of God, it was first answered on a cold night in Bethlehem when His one and only Son was born into this world.
Yet in this nation I know that very few are considering these things. Very few remember the sacrifice that was made by the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Very few pause to say thank you or even to consider the price that was paid on their behalf.
Instead, in this nation Christmas is the season for commercialism. It is the time of year marked by the highest rate of depression and suicide. This season which is meant to be a joyous celebration is instead filled with more darkness than the cold and lonely night on which our Savior was born.
So if you find yourself feeling empty, sad, depressed or lonely this Christmas season I invite you to rediscover the joy of Emanuel. If you find yourself feeling stressed by the financial burden that is tied to those glittery things wrapped beneath your tree consider instead the greatest gift that was given to mankind freely.
I pray God’s blessings upon you this Christmas season.
May it be a season filled with joy!
~ Mitch Salmon