Christmas is such a wonderful time of the year. Often great memories are built during those special opportunities 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 the bigger kids.
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.
I remember reading about a minister who wished his congregation a Merry Christmas eight months before the date. The quote was choice, “I 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. But for the devoted Christian, Christmas is much more than a once a year 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 humanity. The impact of this realization becomes a strong motivation to share the Good News with needy and desperate people who want to know that there is an Emmanuel available who can meet their every need. People 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 black 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 Afro-American people during this time. The stanzas for “Go Tell It on the Mountain” were captured by arrangers like 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. It 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.
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 Christian church persecution and sometimes death.
- It cost missionaries of Christ untold suffering and hardship 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.
— Source unknown
What are the personal costs you have experienced in sharing your faith?
Have you felt God’s sustaining power?
“Your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power” (1 Corinthians 2:5)
“Do not let your heart be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me (Jesus).” (John 14:1)
Have a very Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year. Since so many of our readers will be on a holiday break, we will take a week off from writing these Weekly Devotionals.
I would be honored if you would read our Ministry Year End Letter on our website.
Jim Grassi, D. Min.