Wednesday, 02 December 2015 12:21

How to Have the Perfect Christmas

Written by  Allen Newton
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Every year, millions of dollars and countless hours are spent trying to obtain the perfect Christmas. Even so, after all of the presents are unwrapped and the tree is taken down, we are left with the emptiness of unpaid credit cards and bare bank accounts.  And we wonder why Christmas wasn’t all we hoped it would be.

Try as hard as we might, we can’t purchase or possess the perfect Christmas.

There’s a story about a little boy who was preparing for Christmas. He wrote Santa a letter: “Dear Santa, I have been a good little boy this year. Please bring me a new bicycle.” 
As he began to evaluate his letter he realized that maybe he had not been so good. The fights with his sister, the times he disobeyed his parents, the trick he had played on a friend kept haunting him. So he started his letter to Santa again. “Dear Santa, if you will bring me a new bike for Christmas, I promise I will be good the whole next year!” 


Once again, as he considered this pledge, he realized it was impossible. So he wrote another letter, “Dear Santa, if you bring me a new bike I promise to be good for a whole week!”  
After further consideration he realized this was not going to happen either. Suddenly, he had an idea. He jumped up and ran into the living room where the Christmas Nativity scene was set up under the tree. He reached in, grabbed the baby Jesus from the manger, ran to his room, opened his sock drawer and stuffed baby Jesus into the socks at the very back of the drawer. Then he wrote this letter:  “Dear Santa, if you ever want to see the baby Jesus again, you better bring me a bike!”


This is the story of all of us. We try so hard to get Christmas right. We spend money, time, and energy trying to make it all perfect. But deep down, no matter how hard we try, we can never really make it all we want it to be because we are not perfect. All the trying in the world will not give us the peace, perfection and purpose in life we are looking for. 
This need is not a surprise to God. He knew we couldn’t be good enough to live in peace with him, ourselves or one another.  So over 2000 years ago on a hillside outside of Bethlehem, the angels of heaven announced the mission of the Messiah in a manger.

 

“…Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”  Luke 2:10-12

 

This is the message of Christmas! We can’t purchase perfection because it has already been bought for us by God. He has given us a Messiah, a Savior. This baby boy born in Bethlehem would grow to be a man. He came from heaven to earth to show us the love of God. He would be suspended between heaven and earth to extend to us God’s perfect grace.  On the cross, Jesus would make peace with God on our behalf.


The Messiah did not come to give us what we deserve. He came to give us what we need: God’s love, forgiveness, freedom and purpose for our life.  It is a gift from God to you in Christ.
Try as you might, you will not purchase holiday perfection. It has already been procured for you. When we invite the presence of Christ into our heart’s and homes this Christmas, He brings God’s perfect peace and fulfillment. 
This is the “Good News that brings great joy to all people.” May you claim it as yours and share with others this Advent season.

 

Allen Newton is pastor of Saint James United Methodist Church at 9045 Vaughn Road in Montgomery.
 

Last modified on Wednesday, 02 December 2015 12:36
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