Monday, December 25, 2006
When I was growing up, Christmas was a double-header for me, because my birthday is just a few days before Christmas. Just in case you care, it's on the date that the Wright Brothers flew the first airplane successfully. With all the time I've spend on airplanes in my life, you gotta wonder if that's some kind of destiny. That's also the date of the Battle of the Bulge. Destiny again? But I have never had a complaint about when my birthday is. As a kid, I tried to turn that into an advantage by asking for a gift that would be too much for just Christmas but not for Christmas and your birthday. And besides cleaning up in the gift department, it's just neat to have a birthday at a time when all the world seems to be celebrating. All right, not my birthday obviously, but it's just the best time of the year!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You this Christmas Day about "A Wonderful Time to Be Born."
On this Christmas Day, I want to invite you to consider an exciting possibility; that you could have a Christmas birthday for the rest of your life. Obviously, you can't change the day you were physically born. You showed up without being consulted about the date, right? But you can make this the day that you're finally born into the family of God. Christmas Day: the day we celebrate Jesus being born. Christmas Day: it could be the day you're reborn; the day you start to belong to the Christ of Christmas.
In the Charlie Brown Christmas Special, poor Charlie tries everything to put some meaning into the holiday. Nothing works until that classic scene where Linus walks out with his blanket and stands on center stage. The spotlight hits him and he begins to quote from the Bible, including our word for today. Luke 2:11. The angel's birth announcement of Jesus' arrival. "Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you. He is Christ the Lord." A Savior. That's someone who can rescue you from a situation where you would otherwise die. Like the man who rescued me from drowning in Lake Michigan when I was ten years old. He was my savior, small "s."
Thirty-three years later what started on Christmas ended on the cross. And God the Father and God the Son knew all along where it would end. Because only someone dying could pay the eternal death penalty for the sin of us running our own lives. Three days later, this same Jesus blew the doors off His grave. He's alive to be the Savior - the one who can finally rescue you from your guilt, from your incurable loneliness, from eternal punishment, and from a life that has a lot of activity but very little meaning.
And who is this Savior for? It says "A Savior has been born to you." Would you, for just a moment, make that first-person singular, "A Savior has been born to me." And would you, for just a moment, walk up that skull-shaped hill to the bottom of that cross, and you'll see God's Son loving you enough to die for you there. And make it first person singular. "For me. What You're doing here, Jesus, is for me; for the sinning I've done."
You've known about the love of Jesus before today, but you've never made Him yours. I can't think of a better day to give yourself to Jesus than Christmas - the day we celebrate His coming to give Himself for you. You may have started another Christmas without Christ in your heart, but you're going to bed this Christmas with Him in your heart. Would you stop where you are and give Him what He paid for? Give Him you. You can tell Him in words like these, "Lord, I'm done running my own life. I'm putting all my trust in You to erase my sins from God's Book and to get me to heaven when I die."
If this is your day to begin your relationship with Jesus, let me encourage you to visit our website this Christmas Day. There's some help there on how you can be sure you belong to Him. It's yoursforlife.net.
Christmas Day - this could be your day to be born into the family of God; to experience the overwhelming love and the peace of God. Believe me, this is a wonderful time to be born. Merry Christmas!