A thought has come to mind over and over this year as I’ve thought about the celebration of Christmas. The thought is this… without the cross, without the atonement, the birth of Christ would have been just the birth of another baby, a birth no more noteworthy than yours or mine. But it was not just another birth but a birth worth worldwide celebration because of His mission, the purpose in which He came to earth to fulfill. He came that through Him we might be forgiven for our sins, our weaknesses, our failures. Forgiveness and freedom from our past mistakes really is the whole point of Christmas.
16 ¶ For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
These two songs put into music exactly what I was feeling.
The Night Before Christmas by Brandon Heath
How Glorious the Love of Heaven by Stars Go Dim
And if so much was sacrificed to free us from the misery of our shortcomings, then should we not be much more eager to offer the same mercy to others?
32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
Here is a beautiful talk on the topic of forgiveness:
Challenge: Who is one person you feel prompted to extend forgiveness to? or How can you be more accepting of this gift in your own life – by forgiving yourself for past wrongs? How will you act on these promptings?
(Artwork from http://www.jedicraftgirl.com)