Birth of a promise

December 19th, 2017

Whether or not you’re ready and regardless of your personal feelings on the matter, Christmas is officially upon us. A day marked by traditions that include candlelight services, Santa visits, gift exchanges, family gatherings and questionable sweater choices leaves many of its celebrants with feelings of great anticipation and joy. Yet, for others who are dealing with recent times of sickness or loss, the idea of celebrating Christmas may coincide with feelings of sadness or despair. For some, Christmas may be a painful and lonely reminder of past sins that led to broken families and dreams. And for still others, the idea of Christmas may represent a dull and repetitive holiday that lost its true significance many years ago.

An upward pursuit

In his letter to the Philippians, Paul calls on Christians to never cease looking forward in their pursuit of perfection in Jesus Christ. Yet even Paul would readily admit this pursuit is certainly easier said than done. The temptation to look back at the past in longing, shame or resentment can lead to stunted spiritual growth, while fears or doubts about an uncertain future can lead to idle faith. Still, we cannot allow these feelings to hold us back from pursuing the “prize of God’s upward call” (Philippians 3:14). And we can only reach for this goal by first admitting that we need God to meet us where we are now.

“I bring good news . . .”

When we look beyond the ornately-adorned Christmas trees and beneath the countless layers of wrapping paper, we are reminded of the true reason we celebrate this time of year. We are reminded of the birth of a promise — a promise that offers to heal the past and light the way for the future and a promise that offers purpose for living. We are reminded of the birth of a Savior who promises eternal hope, joy, peace and good news to the world.

Question of the day: What are you looking forward to about Christmas?
Focal scriptures: Luke 15:11-24; Philippians 3:12-16; Luke 2:8-20

For a complete lesson on this topic visit LinC.

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