Pastor Scott Hansen
We have been in the season of Advent for the last month. This Saturday, that will culminate in the celebration of Christmas. Our hope should be burning brightest in this final week as we prepare to celebrate our Savior’s birth. Now, we are in that dark, quiet place of hopeful longing before the majesty and power of the sunrise. This was the salvation that God had prepared in the presence of the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, for the glory of His people Israel [Luke 2:29-32]. Let’s not lose sight of that between now and Saturday!
I won’t see most of you before Christmas, but if I can offer any encouragement for the coming week, it is to reflect on your Savior, Jesus Christ. Because, for the Christian, Christmas is much more than the sentimental feeling that you get when you hear “voices singing let’s be jolly” and “deck the halls with boughs of holly”. If anyone has reason for warm, gushy feelings, it is the one who remembers that their sins have been forgiven and that God remembers them no more! Let your sentimentality be substantiated. Very practically, I want to offer just a few suggestions to help you remember Jesus this week.
First, try putting the technology down. Try putting your phone on the counter and leaving it there all day so that you aren’t pulling it out every time you get bored. Instead, in those moments, meditate on Jesus. Let your heart settle into a posture of peace and rest. Free your heart to meditate on the loveliness of Jesus by freeing yourself from the endless distractions that beg for your attention.
Second, remember your baptism this week. Christmas reminds us that Jesus came to redeem sinners. Our baptisms remind us that we share in Jesus’s death and resurrection through faith. It provides a physical representation of being buried with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. [Romans 6:4]. Let your unity with Christ that your baptism represents fill you with hope this week.
Finally, talk about Jesus. Read the Christmas story with your kids to remind them why we celebrate Christmas. If you get the chance, tell your friends what you are doing for Christmas and why. Be a herald of the good news that light has shone in the darkness to your spouse, your kids, your family, and your friends.
My hope and exhortation for all of us this coming week is that we quiet our hearts, rejoice in our unity with Jesus and proclaim the hope he brings as the light of the world.