When I was a kid, I remember my mom playing Christmas records (that’s right a record…a big, round, black piece of plastic with a little hole in the middle that went into a huge console stereo system with a needle that when placed on this record, made sound come out through the speakers). We had no concept of CD’s, IPods or MP3 players. I remember her decorating the house and smells coming from the kitchen where you didn’t really know what was in the oven, but the anticipation of delight would make its way through your nostrils to the pit of your stomach because you knew something good was on its way. One of the songs I remember being sung which to this day is one of my favorites; was by Andy Williams called “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”. While it’s a secular song and there’s not really any reference to the Christ of Christmas, the song mainly focuses on the traditions of families and friends as they gather to celebrate and the familiar refrain “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” I think that refrain alone is one reason why this song continues to be so popular and one of my favorites. It really is a wonderful time of year and probably would be considered by most believers to be the most wonderful time of the year with Easter being a close second. Probably because Christmas is the celebration of the Savior, Jesus Christ and His birth into the world. Easter cannot ignore the cruel death on the old rugged cross and the pain of that knowledge in our souls, so because of the pain involved around Easter, my suspicion is that most of us would rank Christmas as the most wonderful time of the year.
There’s something about the wonder of the Christmas season and the birth of this special Child named Jesus, Emanuel – God with us; the long awaited and promised Messiah, the one who would “save His people from their sins” (Matt.1:21) that makes young, middle aged or old want to celebrate. There is a magic about Christmas like no other holiday that turns strangers in the hustle and bustle of life into cordial acquaintances. People who would at any other time of the year not greet you on the street or going into the store but at Christmas begin to do so. There’s an anticipation that begins around Thanksgiving that builds with excitement and downright joy begins to well up in hearts usually more calloused due to the rigors of life. Who can explain how a baby changes everything? Who can explain how people who never attend church 50 weeks of the year are suddenly drawn to attend at this most wonderful time of the year? There’s something truly special about this time of year. For believers, disciples of Jesus Christ, we know the answer to that. We know that Jesus is the reason for the CHRISTmas season. The announcement of the angels to the shepherds foretells of this divine act of God some would call “magic” in Luke 2:10 “Do not be afraid, for behold I bring good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.” I think the Lord begins to stir in the hearts of even the most hard-hearted individuals that there is something unique about Christmas even now, over 2000 years after that blessed first Christmas when Jesus was born in a stable in Bethlehem and laid in a cattle feeding trough.
I hope and pray that you’ll take full advantage of the wonderful God-given opportunity we have at this most wonderful time of the year to be a faithful witness for the Lord Jesus. Never miss an opportunity to wish people you encounter “as you go” a hearty “Merry Christmas”. While the Satan & politically correct crowd would want to convince you in order to not be offensive to not talk about Christ and substitute a bland and tasteless “Happy Holidays”; don’t shy away from reminding people of the Greatest Gift of all, the Lord Jesus Christ. Take advantage of the opportunity to give joyfully to our Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions. Our church goal is $28,000.00 and we can reach it if we each ask the Lord what He’d have us to give sacrificially so that others may come to know Jesus as Savior. Take advantage of the opportunity to invite a friend, co-worker or family including in-laws and “out-laws” to come with you to our Christmas musical on Dec. 19th or our Christmas Sunday celebration Dec. 26th. There is no time like Christmas where people would come if personally invited. God is already working in their hearts to prepare them, all you have to do is ask. Take advantage of the opportunity to pray for a harvest of souls, new birth in Christ as people respond to the message of Christmas, pray for me to have boldness and clarity as I share these good tidings of great joy.
From all of us here in the church office at Calvary, we want you to have a marvelous and Merry Christmas at this most wonderful time of the year. May the Christ of Christmas bring great joy to you and your family as you celebrate the Savior’s birth. It is my thrill and joy to serve as your pastor and I love you, from my little corner of the world to yours…
Senior Pastor, Calvary Baptist Church
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