reason-for-the-seasonMerry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Christmas is such a wonderful time of the year.  Often great memories are formed during those special moments that the season brings. We thoroughly enjoy whatever time we can spend with our family and close friends.  And yes, we love to see the expectation in the faces of our grandchildren and the ability to still surprise our adult children.

Good food, wonderful music, tasty snacks, gift exchanges, and great fellowship cause us to be thankful for our blessings; however, remembering the Reason for the Season adds so much more value to all the celebration.  It is especially powerful for us to see how God is using our twin sons who are gifted worship pastors in leading their churches to praise and worship for the King of Kings.  Hallelujah!

I remember reading about a minister who wished his congregation a Merry Christmas eight months before the date.  The quote was choice, “I’m was very glad to see so many out to the Easter services since many of you will not be here again until next Easter, I want to take this occasion to wish you a Merry Christmas.”

For many people, another Christmas season is merely a re-run of the trivial and the sentimental things associated with this national holiday. Unfortunately, going to church or mass may be a once-a-year event.  But for the devoted Christian, Christmas is much more than an annual celebration. It is a fresh awareness that a Deliverer was sent from the ivory palaces of Heaven to become personally involved in the redemption and affairs of the human-race. The impact of this realization becomes a strong motivation to share the Good News with needy and desperate people who desire to know that there is an Emmanuel available who can meet their every need. Men everywhere must hear these glad tidings if they are to benefit from them. With absolute clarity, they must hear the message, “Here is your God!”

I love those old Negro spirituals.  There is so much heart in the simple words that often characterize this music.  These songs had their roots in the late 18th and early 19th century camp meetings throughout the South as well as in the active evangelical ministry carried on among the African-American people during this time. The stanzas for “Go Tell It on the Mountain” were captured by arranger – John W. Work, Jr.  Songs like this traditional spiritual have since become an important part of the American folk and sacred music heritage and are greatly appreciated and enjoyed by all of God’s people.

Most importantly the outreach songs like “Go Tell It on the Mountain” convey the message that we should be most excited about – the fact that Christ came for each one of us.  HE was God’s gift to humanity.

As you add up all those credit card debts or review your receipts on your Christmas spending consider the costs associated with the birth of our Savior.

Christmas – Incarnation

It Cost …

  • It cost Mary and Joseph the comforts of home during a long period of exile in Egypt to protect the little babe.
  • It cost mothers, in and around Bethlehem, the massacre of their babies by the cruel order of Herod.
  • It cost the shepherds the complacency of their shepherd’s life, with the call to the manger and to tell the good news.
  • It cost the wise men a long journey and expensive gifts and changed lives.
  • It cost the early Apostles and the early church persecution and sometimes death.
  • It cost missionaries of Christ untold suffering and privation to spread the Good News.
  • It cost Christian martyrs in all ages their lives for Christ’s sake.
  • More than all this, it cost God the Father His own Son—He sent Him to the earth to save men.
  • It cost Jesus a life of sacrifice and service, a death cruel and unmatched in history.

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Have a very Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year.  Please pass this along to a friend.   Enjoy reading our ministry Year-end letter and how God is using Men’s Ministry Catalyst to reach others for Jesus.

Personal Application:

  1. What sacrifice are we willing to make in 2017 to share the Good News?  How about starting a home group, inviting the neighbors over for a BBQ, asking someone to go to church, or just praying to be more open to hear opportunities where you can share the power and peace only Jesus can provide?
  2. John’s Gospel highlights the divinity of Jesus. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth”.  John 1:14 Can you embrace this and pass it along?
  3. How about directing others to our free Weekly Devotional that will encourage them every week of the year.  Click here to sign-up for devotionals.

Jim Grassi, D. Min.