In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth….From the fulness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgivenness of sins..
And he made known to us the mystery of his will…to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfilment – to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.
In him we were also chosen..in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory…Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession – to the praise of his glory.
At Christmas time, we remember the birth of the one who has been, and is and ever will be…and whose existence is Blessing, Goodness, for us.
Our Lord as the Word, was with God before ever we were thought of, and through him, all that we know was made. Made solely in order that we might exist, might live and discover him, and come into eternal relationship with him.
Our Lord as the incarnate Christ, abandoned the glories of the heavenly realm, and all the rights of Sonship, in order to be good for us. He is the only one who could give what we needed, could be what the law required, could be love in action for us.
Our Lord as the risen Saviour, reigns now over all the powers of evil, having defeated them for ever, and standing between his children and that grasping, destroying darkness to keep them safe until the very end.
What more could we wish for this Christmas? What more could we look for under the tree than we already have received?
Ah, the Lord and our Father know that we are but children, that we always love to unwrap new things; and that although we have received so much, we can only somehow appropriate it one day at a time!
So the prophet could write in Lamentations,“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”(Lam 3.22,23). Each day is a gift, every breath that wakes me is another opportunity to live and love and serve and enjoy the abundance of life; each person is made in the image of God and is a gift to me; each situation is experienced in my Lord’s company and he waits to see how I will enjoy it with him. Dark days are a gift too, because it is then that I see more clearly and lean more fully on my Lord’s strength and love, in my total need of him.
There are unsought gifts – those moments and experiences that surprise and delight us – chosen and prepared for us as the best gifts always are, by those who know us best. Then there are also the gifts we ask for, knowing that we will appreciate them, knowing perhaps that we need them! Our good God gives us both, every day.
So we live in happy anticipation of what surprises the day will bring from our loving Father’s hand; and also in quiet confidence, that whatever we find ourselves needing, will also be provided. We can say with the writer to the Hebrews,“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”(Heb.4.16)
Let us then celebrate with great joy the gift of God to his people, the light of the world which is life, hope, forgiveness and new-birth to us. Merry Christmas to you!