Words From The Heart: Special Weekly Reflection #38

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“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)

For many people this is going to be a very different Christmas. How often have we heard that comment recently? Everything about this year has been different. There weren’t many people who, this past March, thought that we would still be living in this “new normal” in December.

As challenging as much of this year has been for many, Christmas will be even more so. For those that Christmas is normally a difficult time, this year could be even more so. And for families who aren’t able to gather together this year, it will be really tough.

Until the Victorian age, Christmas was a religious holiday. It focused on the birth of Christ alone. Through the Victorian age it increasingly became the sentimental time into which it has transitioned. Now it takes focus to find Jesus in the midst of all the giftwrapping.

If there was ever a Christmas season that needed Jesus at the centre, it is Christmas 2020. The prophet Isaiah calls us back to Him. Centuries before the Jesus’ birth, he wrote, in Isaiah 9:6: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Jesus came into a world that was not unlike ours today. There was nothing sentimental about that first Christmas. Jesus stepped into everyday life. The people who gathered around Him were not the rich and famous – they were like you and me and they were going about life as they usually did.

I do love the trappings of Canadian Christmas. I’m a sucker for sentimentality. I love having the house decorated, eating the food that I only get to eat at this time of year. I love the presents under the tree, the carols playing throughout the house and the lights that give a glow at night. But as I search through all of those things, what I love most about this time of the year is Jesus at the heart of it all.

A child is born, a son is given. Take away everything else, and that’s Christmas. But not just any child. This one is worth celebrating. This child is the ruler, who reigns over the lives of all who have put their faith and trust in Him. What a gift He is. In our brokenness and grief, He comes alongside to give wonderful counsel. When we need a Saviour, He is a prayer away, when we need the love and protection of a Father, He will come as we call out, and when we need His peace, He provides it royally.

As Christmas approaches, in the midst of this pandemic, push aside all the trappings and find Jesus in the centre of it all. As you do, even though it might be a different Christmas than usual, the peace of Christ will fill your heart. Merry Christmas.

I’m Bob Beasley, and these have been words from the heart.