All Things New
We are just TWO days before celebrating Christmas Day, the birthday of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ. On that day, a new day, presents will be opened. Many will get things that they have not had before, new things.
Beloved, perhaps Christmas Day is best celebrated as a day of new things. It was a new thing for God to come into the world in the form of the creatures that God had created, humankind. It was a new thing for God to show radical love as a way of fulfilling all things in the law. It was a new thing for God to stop calling us servants and begin to call us sons and daughters and allow us to call God our Heavenly Father. It was a new thing for God to cease using animal sacrifices as a way of covering sins of human beings by Jesus dying on the cross. And, it was a new thing for God to include everyone in God's promises to God's chosen people.
And, beloved, God has continued to do new things through us, for us and by us.
On Christmas Day, I pray that you will celebrate the new things, not what can be bought at WalMart, Target, Kohl's or on Amazon; but, what was bought for you in an unexpected gift (as we have preached about this month), that gift being Jesus Christ.
And, that gift is one of spiritual transformation that should eclipse your desire for material conformation as confirmation that you have also become a new thing.
2 Corinthians 5:17-21 reveals, "So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."
Beloved, in this Christmas season, do not forget that you have been blessed (reconciled back to God through Jesus Christ as guided by the Holy Spirit) to be a blessing (being an ambassador for Christ by sharing the message of reconciliation) so that you can be a son and daughter of God because only the righteous, the sons and daughters of God, shall see God.
Your Merry Christmas is more dependent on you and how you receive what God has given you than by any present under a tree or any gift that anyone else gives you. I hope and pray that you will not miss Christmas because you miss Christ. And, in receiving all that Christ has given you, all things will become new.
Beloved, we will gather for Noonday Prayer to celebrate the new things in God. We will have a special presentation on The Light radio station, also available via the internet, of our special gift to you, the cd, "Songs For The Soul For The Season", where Zion's voices will seek to share a joyful and joy-filled message of praise to God in song beginning at 3pm. On Christmas Day, as many did on Thanksgiving, I encourage you to reach out to as many within the church family and beyond to wish them a Merry Christmas. It may be a new thing for you to do; but, in Christ, all things are new.
On Sunday, we will close out our Christmas sermon series, "An Unexpected Gift", with the message, "An Unexpected Gift - The Reveal Party", with a spirit-filled in-person, Facebook Live, and Zoom telephone connection. We will have a special musical presentation for our song of preparation. If you cannot be with us in-person, connect with us through other means and invite others to do the same.
As all things are new in Christ, we do not simply celebrate Christmas on December 25th. December 25th marks the beginning of something. It is more than a day. It marks the day when all things became new. Join with us in any way that you can, celebrate our newness in Christ and invite as many as you can to join with us. One of God's greatest gifts is that God allows you to participate in the glorious journey of reconciliation, restoration, and revelation through salvation. We are so blessed!!!
And, as we approach Christmas Day, remember, remember, remember that God loves you and I love you too!