By Barbara Rainey
First posted on EverThineHome.com
What more could be done than Thou has done!
Thy death is my LIFE,
Thy resurrection my PEACE,
Thy ascension my HOPE,
Thy prayers my COMFORT.
Help me give thanks toay and forever. Amen.
-A Puritan prayer quoted in Valley of Vision, compiled by Arthur Bennett
The incarnation of Jesus … His first coming to earth … incognito … as a tiny baby ... is the focus of our month-long Christmas celebrations.
Or is it?
Christmas has become a feel-good, everyone-be-happy season. Even those far from God join in the festivities because it’s easy to ignore the Christian origins. The celebration of Christ’s birth has gotten lost in a swirl of fairy tales and merchandising.
Think about it. The stunning miracle of God becoming human has become trivialized with toys, tinsel, and shopping trips. We’ve made Christmas a season of unachievable expectations. Disappointment on Christmas morning is inevitable and universal.
Our focus has been misplaced.
The prayer above re-centers us on the work Jesus came to accomplish. Without these holy supernatural acts—His death, resurrection, ascension, and now His prayers for us—we would be eternally lost with nothing to celebrate.
Let that truth sink in for a moment.
Yes, we celebrate at Easter the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ, but as we are fully immersed in Christmas tidings it is good to remember that Jesus was born in a manger only to die on a cross. The two events are not distinct; they were fully united in Him as He walked the long journey from the throne of heaven to our earth and back to heaven again.
Today I invite you to slow your frantic pace and read this prayer slowly, out loud, and actually thank Jesus for what His birth gave us … eternal life because of the cross. Don’t let the enemy of your soul segregate these Easter miracles to a tiny space on your calendar next spring.
Christmas is a happy holiday while Easter’s story is squeamish, unsettling … a brutal, undeserved crucifixion. We’ve tidied it up with softer, gentler symbols like bunnies and baby chicks, but it is still about death.
Are you willing to remember the cross as you celebrate the cradle?
Will you remember all of His life as you celebrate His birth?
In addition to Christ’s birthday, will you remember His deathday, too? With deep heartfelt thanks and gratitude?
God loves YOU. He sent Jesus to be YOUR Savior. To rescue YOU. For without His death, resurrection and ascension, His miraculous incarnation for us on Christmas morning would mean nothing.
Let every heart prepare Him room, for He will return not as a helpless babe, but as a mighty, victorious King.
Merry Christmas everyone!
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