Wednesday, December 21, 2011

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Having had two teenage boys who loved football, there was one Christmas gift that was a sure hit - a new leather football. And seeing how it was a rare 60-degree Christmas morning, do you think we were going to just sit around the Christmas tree and admire that ball? No! They went right outside and did what you're supposed to do with a football.

So here we were - the three men of the house - running quickly out of the house, out into the middle of the street, passing that football back and forth. See, I went back for a long one; the pass was right to me! And I caught it! Right on the end of my little finger, like the Christmas klutz. The emergency room? Yeah, that's not where you want to spend a chunk of your Christmas, but that's where I was with a special souvenir of that Christmas - a broken finger.

I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Something Broken at Christmas."

Hey, take it from me; it is no fun having something broken during Christmas. Especially if what's broken is a relationship you really care about, or your family is broken, or your heart is broken. All the "joy to the world" around you just seems to make the hurt even worse. And often the Christmas season brings painful reminders of the things that have hurt us the most.

You need to know that the One whose birthday we're celebrating knows about what's broken and He knows how much it hurts. He cares about that pain, He cares about your loneliness, and He really understands. Remember, this Jesus who came that first Christmas was, in the words of the Bible, a "man of sorrows and familiar with suffering" (Isaiah 53:3). He was misunderstood, He was abandoned, He was betrayed, falsely accused, and put to death.

So while everyone around you may be celebrating and totally unaware of how you're hurting, you've got to know that Jesus is moving close to you today, and He wants to do something very powerful for you this Christmas. That's why I think He's led me to talk about this today. His Word says, "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit" (Psalm 34:18).

In Isaiah 61:1, our word for today from the Word of God, the Son of God says, "The Lord has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted." He really is the fixer of broken hearts, and broken lives, and broken people. Because He came to do something about what's at the root of all our brokenness. There's a reason we use each other, hurt each other, and let each other down. Something's very wrong in our world; something's very wrong in us. It goes back to our living with our back to the God who put us here. We simply aren't living as we were made to live, which is God's way. We have this deadly disease of me called sin. It's ignored God over and over again. And sin is a killer of everything beautiful - everything that matters.

In fact, sin killed Jesus. He absorbed our death penalty for our sin to remove that wall between us and the God whose love we need so much. And the broken things in your life are a painful reminder of your deep heart need for a love and a security that you can't lose. Only God can give you that.

So the body of Jesus was broken to repair the broken relationship between you and God, so He can move in and fix and forgive what's broken inside you. In fact, this very day, the one who came on Christmas is coming to you, offering you this opportunity for Him to come into your life with His love. But you have to open the door to let Him in.

And this could be the day that happens, the day you finally experience what it is to belong to the one who loved you enough to die for you and then was powerful enough to conquer death. Just tell Him right where you are, "Jesus, I've lived without you long enough. You died for me. I can trust you. I'm yours." And please go check out our website as soon as you can today - It will help you know that you really belong to Him.

What a Christmas this could be. What a new beginning! Being broken can actually drive you into the loving arms of Jesus Christ where you can finally be whole.